Can you sue an employer to get back the costs you had to pay a lawyer to write a letter demanding your correct wages be paid? Were being charged 5k to get a lawyer to write a letter in regards to sham contracting, 25k+ in stolen wages.

Letter to employer regarding pay

In the United States, the answer would almost certainly be u201cno.

u201d There could be different answers in other countries.

The United States follows what is called the u201cAmerican Rule,u201d which is a reference to the fact that each person pays their own attorneys fees in the United States.

Other countries have a u201closer paysu201d rule, where the loser of a lawsuit pays the winneru2019s attorneyu2019s fees.

It doesnu2019t work that way in the United States.

There are a few exceptions to this general rule.

Certain civil rights laws allow a winner in civil rights litigation to recover attorneys fees.

Some states allow a successful plaintiff to recover attorneys fees in consumer protection actions.

Finally, the parties to a contract can agree that the u201cprevailing partyu201d in a lawsuit can recover its attorneys fees.

A dispute over wage payments is a contract dispute which would not have such a clause and would not appear to be within any of the exceptions.

,Iu2019ve been the lawyer charging $5,000 in wages disputes.

I always analyze all aspects of the case to see if there is any opportunity to argue that my clientu2019s adversary must pay my attorneys fees and I advise my client very bluntly of the chances of recovering those fees.

You should contact the attorney who handled this matter to see if thereu2019 is any way that the employer would be legally liable to pay your attorneys fees.

Unpaid wages letter to employee

A bluff? Probably not.

Lawyers are not generally in the habit of sending out demand letters when they donu2019t plan on following up on that letter.

It is possible, in the end, for any number of reasons, the lawyer could decide not to bring a case.

It is just as possible that the lawyer could decide to bring a case, or file with the EEOC (depending on what is appropriate).

,On the whole, it is unwise, if you are an employer, to treat an attorneyu2019s demand letter as a bluff such that you ignore it.

The wiser course is to contact your own lawyer, ask them to review the letter and the situation, and decide what to do from there.

Letter Requesting payment from employer

More than 30 years ago I was employed as a manager of a small funeral home in Chicago for an absentee owner.

I inherited over $250,000 in receivables which had never been collected.

I decided I was going to collect on as many of the as I could.

I started sending letters, and then a letter from my attorney asking for payment.

By that point most of the debtors came forward and payed what they owed or set up a payment plan.

Because of their u2018good faithu2019 effort I would waive any finance fees or attorneyu2019s fees and court costs.

I was a good guy, I just wanted what was owed me.

,Now, this was a business which served an Eastern European immigrant community where a flashy funeral for your aged mother was a status symbol.

One gentleman wracked up a funeral bill of over $11,000 for his mother who lived in an area of Chicago which was once run down with old dilapidated brownstone houses on the u201cboulevardsu201d in Chicago, which 20 years later were to become the u201citu201d thing in real estate and development.

Now, in the u201880u2019s $11,000 was quite a chunk of change, and after paying the $2,500 deposit requested refused to pay the remainder of the balance, just over $8,500 and change.

The contract he signed stipulated 18% per annum u2018late paymentu2019 fees for any outstanding balance, compounded.

I wrote the requisite letters requesting payment, then had the attorney send a letter requesting payment.

After no response a lawsuit was filed and a judgement entered against him in absentia.

During the proceedings I had a lien placed on his motheru2019s house, which he maintained.

,Flash forward 15 years and the real estate market in this area of Chicago went through the roof and it was time for him to sell the house.

But, he couldnu2019t because of the lien.

By that time $8,500 and change with compounded interest and attorneyu2019s fees along with court costs topped $30,000.

This guy tried to negotiate a settlement for the debt so that the lien would be released.

I would not relent, this guy felt entitled to negotiate.

This went on for another 12+ months, all the time accruing interest and fees.

Finally, we met in court.

I would still not relent while the balance was approaching the $40,000 mark.

My attorney presented all of our requests for payment over the years, the judge considered everything and entered his judgement; for the lien to be released the man would have to pay what he owed, including interest, attorneyu2019s fees, and court costs.

A debt which started out as $8,500 and change now cost him nearly $40,000 and I could not have been happier.

The Jaguar I bought with that money was well worth it.

Department of Labor unpaid wages claim

No, but you donu2019t have to.

,In the United States, the state department of labor has a system where you can submit a claim to the state for unpaid wages.

Also failure to pay wages is usually a criminal offense.

If any employer is systemically not paying wages then this is something that could be referred to the district attorney.

,The reason that there are special rules and procedures for unpaid wages is precisely because the amounts are usually too low to be worth using courts.

,The rules are different for each state, but your employer should have a poster notifying you of the rules in your state.