I wanna know: Pay me! - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

I Wanna Know: Pay me!

You work hard for the money and you expect to get paid. You'd be surprised how often workers seek help because they haven't received a paycheck from their employer.

Whether you repair roofs or answer the phone for your job, you expect your employer to pay you and to do so on time.

If your pay is overdue, local attorney Beth Zilbert said there are several things to consider. 

"Did you sign a contract and in that contract was it specified exactly when and where and how you're going to get paid? If it's not a written contract, was there a verbal agreement and a handshake with yourself and whoever, either the person hiring you or the human resources or payroll division of the company you work for? Was there an understanding and agreement of exactly when, where and how and how often you're going to get paid? Was there also an understanding of what work would or should be done each pay period in order for you to get paid. If those things were not made clear, make them clear," said Zilbert.

That is go to your employer, human resources manager or whomever and make sure you know the answers to those questions. If you're not getting paid, you need to decide whether to keep working.

Zilbert said Louisiana law sets forth details of how to demand what they owe you.  

"But before that it's important to make sure that you understood the hows, the wheres, the how often and the how much in terms of your payroll and your payment before you start your job. So, for example, is the business going through a hard period of time? Are layoffs, is that the reason you're not being paid? Are people being laid off? Is the employer going to say you didn't' do the work that we expected of you. Is your employer going to say you misunderstood the exact sort of terms and timing of payment," said Zilbert.

Of course, jobs can be hard to come by, so it's important to carefully consider what's best for you.

"First of all, Louisiana is a right to work state which means you can be fired at will. Is there just a problem and there's a misunderstanding that can be cleared up?" asks Zilbert. "What people often times find is that once you put something in writing, instead of it making someone have their back up against the wall and the hair on their neck stand up it actually helps clarify for everybody involved so that there's no misunderstanding," she said.

Those who have a question for our "I wanna know" segment call 337-437-7570 or e-mail tschmidt@kplctv.com or message Theresa Schmidt Kplc on Facebook.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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