Select Page

When employees face unfair treatment from their employers, especially concerning compensation, it can feel discouraging and unjust. However, there are legal avenues available to address these concerns and seek fair resolution. This article will outline steps employees can take if they believe they’re not being compensated fairly for their work.

Filing a Complaint with the Department of Labor

One of the initial actions an employee can take is filing an official complaint with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The WHD is responsible for investigating violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, and other labor provisions.

Filing a complaint with the WHD is a confidential process, ensuring privacy for the employee unless disclosure becomes necessary during the investigation. While not all complaints lead to investigations, many do, and they may result in significant outcomes.

Potential Outcomes of WHD Investigations

If the WHD investigates the complaint and finds evidence of violations by the employer, it can issue rulings requiring the employer to rectify the situation. This may include ordering the employer to pay back wages owed to the employee, along with any additional damages deemed appropriate.

Seeking Legal Guidance

Regardless of whether the WHD investigates the complaint, seeking guidance from an experienced attorney can be beneficial. An attorney can analyze the specifics of the case and identify strong grounds for potential legal action.

Importance of Legal Representation

If an employer owes back pay, employees should not feel compelled to accept the situation without recourse. A knowledgeable attorney can provide insight into the legal process, helping employees understand their rights and the potential remedies available. Additionally, legal representation ensures that employees have the necessary support to navigate the complexities of pursuing fair compensation.


In situations where employees believe they are not being compensated fairly by their employers, there are legal avenues to pursue. Filing a complaint with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and seeking guidance from an attorney are proactive steps employees can take to address their concerns and work towards a fair resolution. By understanding their rights and seeking appropriate assistance, employees can assertively advocate for fair treatment in the workplace.

J. Horowitz
J. Horowitz

J. Horowitz leverages over two decades of experience as a seasoned employment law attorney in Arizona to offer insightful freelance writing on the same subject. After a successful career advocating for fairness and justice in the workplace, J. now dedicates his expertise to writing comprehensive articles, blog posts, and thought leadership pieces that illuminate the complexities of employment law.