Long-standing anti-wage theft laws, such as the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, protect employees whose employers fail to pay earned wages. Philadelphia has expanded protection for workers employed in the city with Philadelphia’s new Wage Theft Law which took effect on July 1. Intentional non-payment or underpayment of earned wages by Philadelphia employers will now result in stiffer penalties. Violations of the new law could result in administrative penalties for each week of unpaid wages and suspensions or loss of licenses or permits. Additionally, the law provides employees the right to file a claim against an employer for alleged wage theft and requires that employers be held liable for a claimant’s attorney fees. Anti-retaliation provisions and posting requirements are also included in the Philadelphia Wage Theft Law.
The new Wage Theft Law covers unpaid wage claims made within three years of the alleged wage theft for amounts between $100 and $10,000. Claims can be brought by labor unions or individual employees. Employers are required to file an answer to any claims. The city’s Wage Theft Coordinator will then conduct an investigation and issue findings in writing within 60 days of an employer’s answer or within 110 days of the claim being filed, whichever comes first. If the Wage Theft Coordinator determines that the claim is valid and wages are owed to an employee, he or she will issue an order for payment. Final decisions can be appealed within thirty days. Claimants also have the option of bypassing this process and taking their cases directly to court.
If your employer has not paid you for the hours you have worked, an experienced Philadelphia employment lawyer at the law offices of Sidney L. Gold & Associates will review your case at no charge to determine your best course of action. Wage theft laws are in place to protect your rights, and legal options are available. Call 215-569-1999 or contact us online. Our attorneys can help you recover unpaid wages from your employer.