If your employer has not paid you fully, you have many options to collect lost wages.
This can be for collecting the last paycheck, or money that your employer may be keeping from you.
You may call this problem 'wage theft'. This guide can help you understand your rights and options.
Contact your local Virginia legal aid group by calling 1-866-534-5243.
You can also look up your local legal aid group online.
Lawyers can help you understand your options and next steps for your specific situation. Legal aid lawyers provide free help to people who qualify.
In Virginia, there are 3 main methods of collecting wages that you are owed:
Read through each of these 3 options to see which one may best fit you.
You can file a complaint with the Dept. of Labor. They may help you get the wages.
If you are owed a last paycheck and nothing else, going through the Dept. of Labor is often the easiest option.
In Virginia, you can contact the Dept. of Labor and Industry. They may be able to help you get your wages.
You could file a lawsuit against your past employer in the Virginia District Courts, or the Small Claims Division of your local court. If you win, you can try to collect your wages.
If you are simply owed a last paycheck and nothing else, the easiest way is to go through the federal government's U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
If you have questions about whether the DOL can help you recover wages, you can read their FAQ page, which provides more details.
If you would like to file a claim with the United States Department of Labor (DOL), follow these steps:
If your wages owed are in Virginia, then you can contact the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) to file a complaint with them.
You can file a complaint that your employer hasn't paid you the wages they promised, or that they don't pay the required minimum wage.
Then DOLI will review your complaint and will decide if they will help you make the employer pay you the wages owed.
If you would like to file a claim with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI), follow these steps:
You can bring your employer to court to get an order for the wages they owe you.
You could go to your local Virginia District Court, or to your local Small Claims Division of your court.
If you would like to file a lawsuit to have the courts order your employer to pay you wages they owe, follow these steps.
Find a Private Lawyer: To connect with a private lawyer, call Virginia Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-552-7977 or go to their website at https://vlrs.community.lawyer/. Some lawyers charge $35.00 for an initial interview.
Contact Legal Aid: You can call the Virginia Legal Aid Hotline 1-866-LEGLAID (1-866-534-5243). This will help you find your local free legal aid group.
If you are in Northern Virginia, seek help from the legal aid group Legal Services of Northern Virginia, visit https://www.lsnv.org or call (703) 778-6800.
If you are not in Northern Virginia, or need to find other groups, you can find a list of Virginia legal aid and help groups here, for more legal and financial assistance.
Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of a person's situation. The information on this page cannot replace the advice of competent, local legal counsel.
Before taking action based on the information on this site, first check for up-to-date information with your local court system, and seek the advice of licensed local attorneys in Virginia (or your state).
This platform is not a substitute for qualified legal advice.
Please contact a lawyer in Virginia to help you with your specific situation. You can find a private lawyer by calling 1-800-552-7977 or find a local legal aid group by calling 1-866-LEGLAID (1-866-534-5243).
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