Can I legally sue for backwages?

May 16 10 Comments

My contract says I'm to be paid 75k salaray. This is done bimonthly in payments of 3,100.

My employer started only paying me half my salary 7 months ago due to financial difficulty. I was told that I'd be paid my back wages once they had enough capital to afford it.

I was recently laid off. Am I still owed my back wages?

I have a contract that says I'm to be paid 75k. At no point was a new contract ever issued for anything less. I was always a contractor and never an official employee.

When I was laid off I did not sign a release that stated I would not seek legal counsel for backwages.

Is this an open and shut case?

Not sure if it matters, but I was told that I was laid off because I kept asking them what they were going to do to return our salary. Since they were paying us half pay, we were technically making less than the California legal minimum to be considered salaried employees. Therefore if there was no plan to return our salaries, we'd be owed overtime pay.

They thought had I stayed, I would turn the office against them.

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TOP 10 Comments
  • Amazon qwertyup
    of course ,they still owe you the money. if they are going downhill financially, you would have to do it before they go bankrupt or out of business.
    May 16 2
    • OP
      They have the money. They are just being cheap.
      May 16
    • Amazon qwertyup
      It should be open and shut, but you mix up your terms which is confusing.
      1. You use the term employer and salary, which are used in employment relationships. If it is a contract, they are your client.
      2. You said they owe us? "we'd be owed"
      3. You do not get converted to hourly if you had no new agreement, time and a half is also for employment. If you have a contract for services, they owe you for the services. The contract is important as to what you were providing in exchange. Hours of work or a project deliverable.
      May 16
  • Uber fuber
    Hire a good attorney and sue immediately
    May 16 0
  • Amgen Fin4eng
    It’s not open and shut at all. It’s worth talking to a lawyer. A company can lower your wage if they want since it’s an at will state. You do have to be notified of it of course. You were making less than $43k? If not then you still could have been exempt employee and not eligible for overtime
    May 16 1
    • Amgen Fin4eng
      Actually I misread. It’s $88k for computer professionals so you shouldn’t have been an exempt employee in first place most likely. Assuming you were an actual employee and not a contractor hired on an SOW/engagement thru a 3rd party
      May 16
  • Bose sockerfan
    Try reddit finance
    May 16 1
    • OP
      I went to Reddit legal advice before I came here. Not a lot of responses :-/
      May 16
  • Travelport / Eng buttnpushr
    Take em to court. You can go after their asses for owed backwages + equal amount in liquidated damages
    May 16 0
  • New / Eng QTdN03
    Why on earth would you ever agree to reduced wages for their financial difficulties?! I just cannot fathom doing this, unless you were working for a family member? From what you said, they definitely owe you money, and you better sue sooner than later. Depending on your type of employment and state, the state might also fine them if you report it.
    May 16 0