What You Need To Know About Winning A Wage Claim in Pennsylvania

Employees can file a claim or a lawsuit to recover wages that their employer did not pay them. Here’s how to win a wage claim in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania has laws allowing employees to file claims to recover wages. Employees have three years to file a claim or a lawsuit to recover their lost wages.

What Is A Wage Claim In Pennsylvania?

Wages are an employee’s earnings. Employees who do not receive their wages on their payday may file a wage claim to recover their wages.

Employees should default to their contract’s provisions and terms regarding payday. Employers must abide by the date of payday unless they modify the contract.

The Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL) is a state employment law allowing employees to file a claim against their employer to recover unpaid wages.

Wage Claim Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania

The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania to file for a wage claim with a government agency is three years. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) may not accept wage claims that an employee did not file within those three years. However, employees should file wage claims as soon as possible to avoid missing any deadlines.

Related: Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Workers in Pennsylvania

The statute of limitations to file a lawsuit to recover wages is also three years in Pennsylvania. Judges may not accept claims over the statute of limitations. Employees should file lawsuits immediately to avoid hitting any deadlines like wage claims.

How To File A Wage Claim In Pennsylvania

Employees can pursue two legal options to recover their claims: file a claim with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or file a legal suit.

The Bureau of Labor Law Compliance, a subdivision of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, oversees wage claims. Employees can file a claim either electronically or manually. The Bureau encourages employees to file electronic wage claims to help expedite the process. Employees can file a claim either electronically or manually.

Employees who choose to file a manual wage claim must mail their completed forms to the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. For the Bureau to process the claim, employees must ensure they complete all pages and attach all additional documents.

Once the Bureau processes and accepts the claim, they will assign the claim to one of five district offices (Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Altoona, and Scranton), depending on the employer’s county. The district office will then investigate to determine if the employer did not pay the employee their wages.

Employers have 60 days from when their employee files the wage claim to pay the employee. Employers who do not pay the wages could have to pay additional fines. The Department of Labor may ask an employer to pay an extra 25% of the values of wages owed.

Related: Breach of Employment Contract in Pennsylvania

Recovering Wages Through Lawsuits

In addition to filing a wage claim, employees can file a lawsuit to recover their wages. Employees should hire an attorney to help them navigate the legal suit. If an employee successfully wins their case, a judge may order an employer to pay the employee’s attorney fees. A judge may also award an additional 25% of the wages owed.

Winning A Wage Claim

Employees should immediately contact an attorney if their employer does not pay them on the agreed payment date of earned wages. Attorneys can help employees decide whether to file a claim with a government agency or pursue a lawsuit.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about how to Win Wage Claim Pennsylvania, get your free consultation with one of our Female Employment Attorneys in Pennsylvania today!