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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19177
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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How do I get paid from an employer who seems to make it

Customer Question

How do I get paid from an employer who seems to make it impossible to report hours in the DC and remotely?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You would file a wage claim against them with the Department of Employment Services in DC. That is the fastest, cheapest and most protected method of filing a complaint against the employer when wages are at issue.

http://does.dc.gov/service/wage-hour-compliance

That government entity can investigate the matter and force the employer to pay appropriately. It is illegal for the employer to retaliate against you for using that service as well.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here are the details. I worked a couple of days in DC for the World Bank, staying in a hotel. Going from my agency and actual employer insigmainc, then to Tata Consulting. A manager told me to work from home the following week. So I did reading through over 100 pages of technical documentation, but told them Friday, I couldn't give them much of a high level design without more information so I was let go, the manager refusing to approve more than two days, despite me having screen captures emailing back and forth Sunday through Thursday of last week. Now I can't enter any hours in the Tata system. Only nonbillable hours and unapproved work. I probably spent $300 on that job between hotels, gas, ink and paper and now I am lucky to see a dime.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information, but it really doesn't alter the answer that I have given at this point.

You only have two options. You can file the wage claim which I have already posted for you to review or you can sue them in state court, a slow and more costly option.

Nothing about your additional facts changes these two options. I'm glad that you shared them and it certainly gives me a more clear picture of the scenario, but the clarification doesn't change your options...it only makes it more clear that those are your only two options.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I suppose the only leverage is threatening to list every contact I have on the Emp form. Of which I doubt there is a single American. Tata Consulting knows they can do just about anything they want. Maybe I have to find vendor management and HR contact info for the World Bank to see if they still find this a joke, because obviously they all do.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I don't know that that is really a legitimate or legal leverage point, if the contacts came from the employer. That could be considered a violation of unfair business practices.

It's probably better to stay on the high ground and use one of the options I have told you about here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh, I've been programming for 15 years. Agencies are terrified of their clients. My agency of Tata, though whether Tata is scared o the WB, I'm not as sure. They are a monster internationally if not here. There are an IT consulting company with over 300,000 employees. Think about the money flowing through their doors.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Ok. That may be true here, but that's not really a legal method for obtaining your wages. I'm not necessarily saying it is illegal, but my point is that I'm an attorney.

You posted this in employment law, asking it as an employment law question. Law is my expertise...not international IT companies or, more specifically, the employer in question here.

So, when I answer, I give you the answer under the law and how you can go about compelling a response through our administrative law and court system. The rest of what you are talking about, while perhaps very true, has nothing to do with my profession.

I can't really answer you in any way other than I have. If you feel that you can exert pressure through client contact as a means of influencing the employer, then by all means do so....but that is not a legal (use of the law) method of responding...it is a business/personal level of responding.

If they respond to it, great. If they don't, then you'll still end up with the options that I have stated here, which are to file the wage complaint as I have already noted or sue in state court.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The point is to avoid all this. Leverage is everything.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Then avoid it. As I said, if you believe that you can exert that sort of pressure through client contact, then do so.

It seems to me that you aren't yet ready to use the options presented by law, but want to use other options. If you want to do that, go for it. Nothing is stopping you here.

So, I'm not really sure what you are looking for from me. You have every right to try it your way first, but when you ask me my way, I'm going to tell you the methods used in LAW. That's what I do.

All I can tell you is how to go about compelling a response through our legal system. A wage complaint is FREE, so I don't understand the resistance to using the process.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well let me tell you, I got calls from the manager and guy from my agency within 10 minutes of sending them this:"I still can't enter time. Don't know w person to return the laptop to in DC can't even log into their system on that laptop.
at what point do I fill this in, listing every contact I have as witnesses I worked there?https://app.does.dc.gov/owh/WagePaymentInfoI don't want to overreact, but you guys are kidding yourselves if you expect me to pretend I never worked there. It probably cost me $300 in hotels, gas, tolls, ink and paper.Jim Stiene"So that link you sent me probably made them wake up and take notice. They don't want to get mess with someone who will not simply walk away, regardless of how big or influential the people behind them are. The lesson being, You've got to keep your pimp hand strong.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I'm glad that the link was helpful.

No employer wants a government agency coming in and going over their files.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Or pull their bosses or clients into a bureaucratic nightmare.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, that is true. Many employers don't want the government agencies coming in, even when they are right in a specific situation, because there is always some thing wrong being done that the government agency could then latch onto.

Once they are in the door, it's a nightmare.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. If not, have a great night and please rate my service.