If you’re like many people whose employers have not paid for work performed, you know you could have an unpaid wages claim – but how much do you know about how these claims work and whether you need an unpaid wages lawyer?
Some people are entitled to compensation because an employer fails to pay them what it owes. While you may be able to resolve some complaints by talking to your employer – or someone in the Human Resources department – it might also be necessary to work with an attorney who can help.
Here’s the scoop on what an unpaid wages lawyer can do for you.
What Does an Unpaid Wages Lawyer Do?
When you call an unpaid wages lawyer, he’ll let you know whether you’re likely to have a case. You might have a claim if your employer has:
- Paid you less than minimum wage
- Failed to provide you with or pay you for break time that’s required by law
- Not paid you for work you performed when you were “off the clock”
- Failed to pay you for time to prepare for work when it comes to safety gear, uniforms or other work-related apparel
- Not paid you for accrued vacation time that you didn’t take
- Failed to pay you overtime
For most people, it makes sense to work with an unpaid wages lawyer who understands California law and how it applies on a case-by-case basis.
Finding an Unpaid Wages Lawyer
When you’re looking for an unpaid wages lawyer, it’s important that you start by asking family and friends for a referral. If you don’t know anyone who’s had to work with this type of attorney before, that’s okay – you can also search Google and other review sites to narrow down your search.
Questions to Ask an Unpaid Wages Lawyer
Once you’ve found a handful of unpaid wages attorneys, it’s time to start calling around for a free consultation. You can ask as many questions as you need to during your allotted time. In fact, the more questions you ask, the better.
This list will get you started:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- How many cases like mine have you already handled?
- What portion of your practice do you dedicate to unpaid wages claims?
- What are some of the results you’ve gotten your clients in the past?
- How will we communicate?
- Will you tell me what I need to know instead of what I want to hear?
- Do you have the time to handle my case, or are you currently very busy?
Let’s take a closer look at each of these questions – and what types of answers you want to hear.
#1. How long have you been practicing law?
While attorneys who are relatively new in the field can be a tremendous help to you, some people prefer to work with an unpaid wages lawyer who has a lot of experience.
#2. How many cases like mine have you handled in the past?
Unpaid wages claims can be complicated, and typically, it’s best to work with an attorney who keeps up with changes in the law and what’s happened in recent cases.
#3. How much of your practice relates to unpaid wages claims?
Again, unpaid wages claims can be complex. It makes sense to work with an attorney who focuses primarily on employment law rather than in other fields, like criminal defense or family law, because there’s a lot to keep up with.
#4. What kinds of results have you had in the past?
A good lawyer won’t mind sharing past results with you. If he’s won big settlements for his clients, he’ll let you know. While that’s no guarantee that the same will happen in your case – there’s no way to predict a case’s outcome – it can be a good indicator that you’re talking to a skilled attorney.
#5. Will I deal directly with you, or others in your office? How will we communicate?
Many attorneys work with teams of people, including law clerks and paralegals who negotiate and appear in court. It’s important that your attorney communicates with you in ways you feel comfortable, whether it’s over the phone, in person or through email (or all three).
#6. Will you always tell me what I need to know rather than what you think I want to hear?
A good unpaid wages lawyer will always look you in the eye and tell you what you need to know – not what he thinks you want to hear. In a case like this, it’s important that your attorney shares the good, the bad and the ugly truths with you.
#7. Do you have time to handle my case?
It’s important that the attorney you work with actually has time to devote to your case. It’s not just a matter of routine paperwork – he’ll need to prepare and be willing to fight on your behalf. Many attorneys juggle multiple cases at one time, but you need to make sure that yours has enough time to put his best effort into your case, as well.
Do You Need to Talk to an Unpaid Wages Lawyer in Glendale?
If you believe you have an unpaid wages claim, call us at 818-230-8380 for a free case review. We’ll answer your questions and talk about possible outcomes of your case, as well as give you the legal advice you need.