Collecting Owed Wages From the Department of Labor – Guide
The Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a database of prior verdicts from the Wage and Hour Division. When the Wage and Hour Division finds a violation or wage theft and produces a judgement against an employer, it holds the funds for affected employees for three years. After three years, the funds are distributed to the US Treasury.
How to Search Department of Labor for Owed Wages
The first step to search for old wage claims against employers is to head to the Worker Owed Wages database and search for the company who committed wage theft: https://webapps.dol.gov/wow/
Step 1: Find Your Employer
Once you are at the database, enter the name of your employer and search. This search can be performed by anyone looking for companies, without logging in or creating an account.
Step 2: Enter Your Full Name
The database tracks both employers and the individual owed wages of employees. To see if you have unclaimed owed wages, enter your full name.
Step 3: Request A Form
Giving your contact information to the DOL will allow them to send you a Back Wage Claim Form, and instructions for completing the form. The form will arrive by email.
Step 4: Complete and Submit Your Back Wage Claim Form
Complete the Back Wage Claim Form you receive in your email. Once complete, sign and create an account with login.gov per the instructions. You will then need to upload the following documents:
- Signed and complete Back Wage Claim Form
- Copies of one or more of the following:
- Social Security Card
- Pay Stubs
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Card (ITIN)
Step 5: Wait 8-10 weeks for Processing
The Department of Labor estimates it takes approximately 8-10 weeks for processing of wage claims. The DOL will send you a check of your owed wages.
Unreported Wage Theft
The Workers Owed Wages database only has information on prior violations assessed by the federal Department of Labor. If the company you work for is not found, but you know of wage theft or labor violations, you may wish to report them to the DOL, your state department of labor, or contact an employment lawyer to review your claim.
Employment Law Firms such as Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP can assist in filing a lawsuit for lost or stolen wages, help form a class action on behalf of many workers, or can assist in arbitration against an employer for wage theft, discrimination, or other violations of worker protections.
Wage Theft Law Firm
The attorneys at Schneider Wallace are experienced employment lawyers ready to handle claims including:
- Illegal paycheck deductions
- Misclassification as exempt from OT
- Misclassification as an independent contractor
- Unpaid meals or breaks
- Unpaid holidays
- Unpaid overtime
- Unpaid commission
- Unpaid final wages
- Unpaid tips or gratuity
- Unpaid commission
- Unpaid vacation
- Waiting time penalties
If you believe you are not being paid for all of the time you have worked, or are not being paid the overtime due to you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with an employment law attorney in our California, Texas, North Carolina or Puerto Rico offices. Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP is a national law firm that represents employees in a wide range of employment law cases, including class action lawsuits involving the failure to pay wages, overtime pay and commissions.