Q: How can I file a charge against my employer to get my unpaid wages?
I was fired from my job via text message immediately following my text to my boss asking about a $2000 discrepancy in my first paycheck. I hired an attorney a month later to help me recover wages. He sent a demand letter and my former employer refused to negotiate a settlement and to this day has not using me my wages. After 9 months of refusing to negotiate, I asked my lawyer to proceed with litigation because I felt it had been long enough just to determine my employer was not interested in paying me. He wanted more time to try and negotiate with my employer so I gave him another month. At the end of the month, he said no settlement offered and proceeded to dump my case. He never filed with the EEOC or any state agencies and now the statue of limitations passed about a month ago. I didn't know until the end that my attorney didn't do anything to help me. I would like to pursue myself in court but what can I do now that the statute has just passed? Thank you.
A: You are confusing administrative limitations with legal limitations. Moreover, please be advised that an employer's failure to pay correct wages is not actionable as employment discrimination unless you have evidence that the employer failed to pay you the correct wages because of your gender, age, race, religion, national origin, marital status or disability. Since you have alleged none of these "protected classes" the most probable reason why your lawyer did not help you file an EEOC charge is because you have no employment discrimination claim. At best all you have is a contractual dispute that you can bring yourself in a small claims court.
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