Workplace Fairness: Advice on how to get paid

Updated: Oct. 11, 2017 at 6:11 PM CDT
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SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - From time to time, workers from different companies reach out to 7News complaining that they haven't been paid. Most recently, it was employees for a local temporary staffing company.

On Sept. 15 workers descended on Coastal Staffing, a temporary staffing company in Sulphur. They were demanding their checks for hours they say they worked in Texas neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

The delays apparently stemmed from the company's payroll processing system being overwhelmed.

In 2005, many out-of-town workers came to Southwest Louisiana to help rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Rita.

There were numerous complaints of workers not being paid and finding themselves stranded here, living under tarps.

Many cut their losses and headed home.

Paula Brantner, from the Washington, D.C. metro area is senior adviser for an organization called Workplace Fairness.

For workers to get paid, she says documentation is key.

"Make sure that you keep a record of your hours worked, so that if there are any disputes when it comes time to get paid, that you have real-time contemporaneous records of how many hours that you worked and what the agreement to pay you was," she said.

She says workers should use phones to photograph papers they sign and/or apps that track hours worked.

"There are even apps out there that would time stamp for you that work almost like a time clock, writing it down, keeping it in your phone, dictating it to a voice recorder that has a time stamp," she said.

In the case of Coastal Staffing, a spokesman says 95 percent of workers have been paid and that the final payments have been reconciled and are going out over the next week.

That's except for a handful who disagree with hours recorded and verified.

For more advice on workplace fairness click here. To hear more of our interview with Paula Brantner look for our Web Extra: Workforce Fairness.

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