As a South Carolina unpaid wages lawyer, I never run out of potential clients. That’s because claims for unpaid wages (also called wage theft) remain a problem that workers often face across the country, including South Carolina employees. These cases arise when an employee performs work for the benefit of his employer and therefore earns either an hourly wage or a commission, but the employer decides not to pay what is lawfully owed. I see these claims pop up most commonly after an employee resigns or is terminated from a job and the company refuses to pay out all of the earned wages or commissions. What options does a South Carolina employee have at that point? And do you need a South Carolina unpaid wages lawyer to help?
Primarily, the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act provides a remedy to employees who are victims of wage theft. An employee can bring a private cause of action (a lawsuit) against their employee in state court to recover the full amount that is owed. The judge, after a trial, has the option of awarding treble damages (triple the amount owed) and attorney’s fees to the employee if successful at trial. Treble damages are not automatic, but the threat of that remedy can provide additional leverage to force a reluctant company to comply with their legal and moral obligations.
If the employee should have been paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek but was not, then the employee would have a claim for unpaid overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Additional information about the FLSA and associated claims can be found at my sister blog, True Or FLSA.
Ultimately, if a South Carolina employee is suffering from wage theft, whether in the form of unpaid wages, unpaid commissions, or unpaid overtime, then the employee should speak with a South Carolina unpaid wages lawyer as soon as possible to discuss all available options. If the company will not pay you what you’re owed, then filing a lawsuit may be your only remaining option to be made whole.