Oswego, IL asked in Employment Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Small Claims for Illinois

Q: Should I contact a lawyer first about reporting wage & labor disputes with my employer?

I worked for a restaurant chain since 2013. I was hired for 1 hourly position at a specific rate, then cross-trained & given promotions w/raises over the years. I've had issues for years with my time clocks being manually edited by different mgers, i was paid incorrect rates than what i was supposed to or for the specific jobs i was doing at that time, & frequently worked off the clock or went my entire years employed w/out a break to eat while working 10 to as long as 27 hour shifts. This summer I called HR to report my mger who kept changing my clock in/out times & switching my job codes over to my tipped server rate while i was working BOH or mgmt. I counted over 1000 hours in previous checks i was paid incorrect rates, but HR blew me off. Nov-Jan I worked 10-15 hr shifts 6-7 days/wk, working multiple jobs daily until corporate came & switched all my rates for the entire time i had worked over to my tipped server rate & then claimed way more in tips each shift than i actually made.

2 Lawyer Answers
Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer
Answered

A: You should immediately reach out to an employment lawyer to discuss potential claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Illinois law. If you were not paid at least minimum wage (hourly rate & tips combined) for all hours worked, and you were not paid overtime for all hours you worked in excess of 40 per week, then it is highly likely your employer has violated the law. The right to recover money you have been unlawfully denied exists even for a small sum of money. You should reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible.

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg
Answered
  • Rochelle, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Ms. Dyer's advice is correct. I would add that you should bring all the documents you can find which back you up.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.