The Texas Payday Law - Chapter 61 of the Texas Labor Law - was created so that employees could successfully go after employers who scammed them out of wages, overtime pay, and tried to block their attempts to claim unemployment benefits rightfully due them. Employers and their lawyers immediately set about finding ways to get around the laws.
The Statute of Limitations - What you need to Know
The statute of limitations for payday claims filed with the Texas Workforce Commission is 180 days - six months from the date of the payday violation. The statute for filing this claim in civil court is four years. If you file a claim with the TWC, and they deny your claim, you are likely not going to be allowed to sue for the violation of payday laws in court. The Texas Supreme Court is responsible for this decision, in the case of Igal v. Brightstar Information Technology Group, Inc., handed down in 2008. The court found that Igal had no rights to sue after his claim was rejected by TWC for exceeding the statute of limitations - he waited more than six months to file, according to the TWC. When Igal tried to bring his payday claim to civil court, his suit was rejected because the TWC had already rejected the claim, and the Supreme Court of Texas decided that since TWC had rejected it Igal had no rights to sue Brightstar.
What the Ruling Means for You
What this means for you is that now you not only need a lawyer skilled in labor law more than ever, you need to have a lawyer help you decide which place is more appropriate for your payday claim - TWC or civil court. This can depend on many factors, including how much time you have left to file the claim, how much money the claim is worth, and how much merit the case has. There have been numerous wage cases in Texas and nationwide that affect workers in different industries, including healthcare workers, tipped employees, computer and IT workers, and many more.
Be Empowered, Not Powerless - Get Help from an Experienced Attorney
Texas employment lawyers know the Fair Labor Standards Act, which is a federal law, and they know Texas Labor Law, as well. If you need to file a claim for back pay, or for uncompensated work done by you while in someone else's employ, you need a good labor attorney to help you navigate the labor law system in Texas. The employer you are suing or filing a claim against may or may not know the labor laws as well as they should. Their lawyers, however, do know the laws and all the sneaky ways to get around them so they don't have to pay. If you have a payday law claim in Texas, you need an attorney who knows the laws and can get you exactly what you need - the money you are owed in your back wages or payday claim.
No one goes to work believing they will end up suing their employer for back pay or payday law violations. Employers often think they can get away with violating these laws, because they think an employee will feel powerless to fight these injustices. Empower yourself by talking to an experienced FLSA attorney before you file your claim. You'll be glad you did.
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