What to Do if Your Employer Doesn’t Pay You in Texas

When we start our jobs and sign a contract, we do so with the belief that both parties will complete their end of the bargain. With a signed job contract, the employee agrees in writing to offer their services to the employed during business days. In return, the employer agrees to pay the employee an agreed amount of money for those services. So what happens when the employer doesn\’t pay you? Is there anything you can do according to Texas labor law to report unpaid wages? There is! According to the Texas payday law, you’re able to file a wage claim against your employer. Let’s see how that works.

What You Need to Know Before Filing the Claim

The first thing you should know is that you have a certain time limit by which you have to start the claim process. In fact, if you want the Texas Workforce Commission to accept your claim, you have to file it within 180 days of the date the unpaid wages were due.

Furthermore, a successful claim needs to fulfill a few other criteria. The TWC will deny your claim if:

  • You’re an “independent contractor” and not “an employee.”
  • You’ve not signed the declaration that you’ve stated true facts (basically, they want you to sign you’re not committing perjury).
  • Your employer is a close relative of yours.
  • Your employer filed for bankruptcy.
  • Your employer is the federal government, the State of Texas, or any of its political subdivisions.

How to File the Claim

The Texas Workforce Commission provides the unpaid wage claim form on their website. As you can see, it consists of the wage claim where you need to answer 17 questions. Additionally, there’s a wage claim attachment where you need to fill out in detail your engagement with the employer in terms of working days and hours. Some of the questions you’ll have to answer are:

  • Your rate of pay
  • Whether you’ve defined a scheduled payday
  • Whether the agreement on the payday was oral or written (if latter, you’ll need to provide the contract), and so on

The unpaid wage claim can also involve overtime hours, unpaid bonuses, and commissions. However, Texas law doesn’t regulate rest and meal breaks.

The Outcome of the Claim

If the TWC finds your claim valid, they will instruct your employer to pay you twice the amount they already owe you. On top of that, sometimes, the court orders the employer to cover the employee’s attorney fees and litigation costs.

Davis, Ermis, & Roberts Can Help You 

Do you wish to file a wage claim, but you’re struggling to do it on your own? Don’t worry — you don’t have to struggle any longer! Just reach out to Davis, Ermis, & Roberts P.C., and we’ll explain to you exactly how the whole process works. With 35 years of experience in Texas laws behind us, we’ll be able to assist you with all your queries. Just give us a call!