When an unpaid wages attorney sits down to figure out a case, a big part of the job is about going through documents. Even more than is normal in other fields of law, a lawyer working on an unpaid wages claim usually has an easier time trying to win if they can lay the paperwork out straight.
As a client, that means one of the best ways to help an unpaid wages lawyer is to do a great job of documenting the facts. Let's look at what documenting a case such as this entails.
Contracts and Agreements
Ideally, there is some paperwork outlining the agreed-upon pay structure for your job. Particularly, it can be helpful to have documents showing how hours are logged and what the rules are for paying overtime and holiday compensation.
Don't despair if you never signed an employment contract. There are other ways to document your employment. Likewise, the lack of contracts means that the legal interpretation of your rights largely centers on local, state, and federal laws governing unpaid wages.
Also, don't assume that something in the contract is set in stone. If an employer illegally asked you to waive a right, the contract doesn't magically make it a win for them. A signed agreement simply documents their illegal conduct.
Especially in cases where there isn't a contract stating what your pay is, pay stubs become the primary proof you did work for a business. They also can help you document the underpayment or nonpayment of wages.
Texts, Emails, Letters, and Voice Messages
Any communications you had with an employer about when you were supposed to work are huge. If your boss asked you by text to work a series of weekends, for example, you'll want to lock those communications on your phone for safekeeping. An unpaid wages lawyer can then show how your pay stubs failed to reflect the hours you worked.
Copies, Copies, and More Copies
There is no such thing as making too many copies in this sort of case. It's important where possible to preserve the originals. Place the originals in a cabinet or safe to protect them. Make enough copies that you can provide them to your unpaid wages attorney and still have a few spares. You can then use the spares to make notes or highlight key ideas, such as dates and payment amounts.
If you're dealing with digital versions of things, try to back things up. For example, some phones have cloud storage functions that allow you to copy texts and images.Share