Leaving a job is always stressful, even if you said goodbye in the best of circumstances. But what do you do if your former employee owes you money? This sticky situation can be challenging, but there are three avenues you can take to get the money that is due.
Write a Strongly Worded Letter
If your former employer owes you money, the first step is to write a formal letter reminding them of the payment due. Although you may be furious about the lack of pay or desperate for cash, remain professional in your correspondence. Do not let your feelings get in the way, and avoid making a desperate plea that appeals to emotion. There is no need to mention your pending student loan payment or the pile of medical bills that are close to being overdue, even though it might be tempting. You are owed money that you worked hard to earn, and no further explanation is necessary.
Open the letter with a brief summary, such as “I am writing today to express my concern about my pending salary.” Next, outline the amount of money due and the time period worked, including a list of overtime hours if applicable. Attach proof of your time on the clock to the letter if you have it. Finish the letter with a request to bring the payment up to date and a promise to follow-up within the next few days.
Make It Public
Reputation is everything for a business, and you may be able to persuade your former employer to pay you by making your plea public. Take to the Internet and simply state the facts of your case without bashing the employer or saying anything that might land you in legal trouble. In response to this type of negative publicity, most business owners will be quick to act to restore their reputations.
Take Legal Action
If you have written a letter and still not been paid, it is time to contact a lawyer. An attorney can draft another letter to your employer regarding the non-payment, and although it may seem redundant, a letter written by an attorney carries more weight and signals that you are serious about pursuing legal action should the issue not be amended. If the problem is still not resolved, your lawyer can advise you on the next steps.
One of the best ways to avoid this issue in the future is to work only for companies that are well-established and respected in their fields. FirstJob connects you with internship and career opportunities at high-quality businesses that value their employees and respect your work. Sign up today to access these opportunities and never have to worry about when your paycheck will come again!
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