What Should I Do if My Employer Refuses To Pay Me?

Breach of Contract What Should I Do if My Employer Refuses To Pay Me?

My Employer Refuses To Pay Me—What Are My Options?

Have you been doing honest work only to realize that your last check did not come through? In this article, DoNotPay answers the “What should I do when my employer refuses to pay me” question.

When your employer breaches a contract, there are several ways to seek remedies and collect damages. We will explain these options in detail and help you settle your dispute as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you want your problem solved immediately, sign up for DoNotPay.

Is Your Employer in Breach of Contract?

A breach of contract occurs when one contractual party fails to honor the terms of the agreement. If they violate all the terms, the contract becomes irreparably broken—making this violation a material breach of contract.

The non-breaching party has to prove the breach has occurred by demonstrating its elements. Check the following table for details:

ElementDescription
Existence of a valid contractA non-breaching party must prove the validity of the agreement. For a contract to be valid, it needs to include:

  • Offer
  • Consideration
  • Acceptance
Non-breaching party’s performanceThe aggrieved party should prove that they had performed all the terms of the contract
Breaching party’s failure to performThe non-breaching party needs to demonstrate that the other party did something to breach the contract—e.g., an employer refusing to pay wages
Losses that occurred due to the breachAnother element is the damage that the breach caused. If a non-breaching party can prove that they suffered losses because of the breach, they have a valid case

If the injured party cannot prove all of these elements, the defendant can use it as their defense.

What To Do When Your Employer Refuses To Pay You

If your employer refuses to pay for hours worked, you have the following options:

  1. Contact the employer directly
  2. File a claim with your state’s labor department
  3. Send a demand letter
  4. File a lawsuit

Contacting Your Employer To Resolve the Issue Directly

Before you assume that your employer did not pay you your salary on purpose, you should consider asking them in person. If there has been a mistake, your employer can rectify the situation.

In case you are worried about confronting your employer, keep in mind that there are laws against discrimination and firing employees based on their requests to be paid. Employers must pay their employees at least a minimum wage according to state and federal laws.

Filing a Claim With Your State’s Labor Department

If your employer still refuses to pay you, it is time to file a claim with your local state’s labor department. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a federal agency that enforces federal labor standards and promotes workers’ well-being. In your case, the most important law that the DOL enforces is the Fair Labor Standards Act that establishes minimum wage and overtime pay.

To file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHS), you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your full name, address, and phone number
  • The name of your employer (company)
  • Location and contact information of the company
  • The name of the manager or owner
  • Services you performed for your employer
  • Payment schedule and method

Sending a Demand Letter

Filing a complaint with the WHS can take a long time—what if you need the money fast? You can write a 10-day demand letter that should nudge your employer into paying you within the deadline you set—in this case, ten days.

A professional breach of contract demand letter should contain the following:

  • Names of both parties
  • Detailed description of services you performed under the contract
  • Amount the employer should pay you under the agreement
  • Due date for payment
  • Previous attempts to collect payment
  • Consequences if your employer does not pay you

If your employer does not respond to your demands, you can send a final demand letter before legal action.

Filing a Lawsuit

If the breaching party ignores your final letter, the next step is to file a lawsuit.

You can go to a small claims court if the amount you are owed is between $3,000 and $10,000, but this depends on your state’s limit.

How To Create a Demand Letter With DoNotPay

You do not have to go through online templates or hire expensive lawyers—DoNotPay can draft a formal and fully personalized demand letter in a heartbeat. Our AI-powered app uses a comprehensive state laws database to generate a letter that complies with the regulations in your state and covers the specifics of your case.

To start generating your letter, sign up for DoNotPay and follow the steps below:

  1. Select the Client Breach of Contract tool
  2. Add all the necessary details about your case, such as:
    1. Name of the parties involved
    2. Services you provided the employer
    3. Amount that you are owed
  3. Set the deadline by which the employer must pay

Once you provide all the required information, DoNotPay will generate your demand letter in a few seconds.

Get the Upper Hand With DoNotPay

The business world is extremely competitive—that is why it is always good to have some extra capital set aside when you need to invest in your company. You can leave the bureaucratic task to us—DoNotPay will draw up business loan request letters in your stead.

If your finances are taking a hit, rely on our app. With our assistance, you will be able to:

  • Fight fraudulent chargebacks
  • Remove fake negative reviews online
  • Register and protect your trademark
  • Send mail and faxes at no additional cost
  • Handle clients breaching contracts and get what you are owed

Whatever the task at hand, our AI-powered app will see it through successfully.

DoNotPay—The Assistant Every Business Needs

You cannot escape bureaucracy in business. What you can do is let DoNotPay deal with it. Whether you need to register a DMCA agent or complete an Employer Identification Number (EIN) registration, our app will lead the way.

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