Here in Los Angeles, many people put in long hours and have workweeks which regularly exceed 40 hours. Most workers are generally entitled to overtime pay when their time on the job exceeds certain amounts, but unpaid overtime is an issue affecting many here and across the country. There are many state laws and local regulations regarding wage and hour violations, but at the federal level the U.S. Department of Labor is also concerned with remedying overtime violations.
The USDOL has an online system whereby some workers who are owed wages may be able to find out if this is indeed the case. In many situations, a worker who may no longer work for the same employer may wonder if they are owed money due to unpaid overtime or other wage and hour violations. Such a worker can consult with a California wage and hour dispute attorney for more information and for legal advice. In addition, a worker may visit the USDOL's Workers Owed Wages search tool for a quick way to see if the employer in question is in their database.
The system will often hold unpaid wages for some employees for up to three years while they make efforts to locate the individual. After those three years have passed, though, the money will be given to the U.S. Treasury. This is one of the many reasons why it's so important for workers who believe they are victims of unpaid overtime violations to contact an attorney sooner rather than later. While it's never too late to obtain helpful legal advice, there are time limits in certain areas when it comes to recovering all of one's back pay.
If a worker finds their employer in the USDOL's database, they can begin the process by submitting a claim. The process may be much easier with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If a worker cannot locate their employer or former employer in the database, a lawyer can likely provide a way to track down the employer or otherwise discover if the individual is owed money.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Workers Owed Wages," accessed April 10, 2016