Like those in other states, Indiana’s laws require that employers promptly pay their workers their wages when they come due.
These laws are not surprising since, if their wage-earners do not get paid when they expect, Indianapolis households may quickly face very difficult financial circumstances.
Unfortunately, some Hoosier companies willfully delay or withhold payment for bad reasons. In many other cases, an employer may have meant well but had poor control over its finances and thus has no money to pay wages when they are due.
Still other employers can be trickier. They may misclassify employees as independent contractors or pay them a salary and then claim them exempt from minimum wage and overtime laws. They may also require employees to work off the clock or pressure them to do so.
Additional penalties apply to employers who do not pay wages
The good news is that employers in this state who do not pay wages in good faith can face serious penalties.
In addition to having to pay back the wages, an employer who acted in bad faith may have to pay an additional penalty of up to two times the amount of the underpaid wages. They may also have to cover the costs of going to court, including the worker’s attorney fees.
A worker may in some cases also have the ability to recover compensation under federal law.
The point of having these extra penalties is to make sure that employers do not take advantage of a superior bargaining position.
After all, unscrupulous employers may otherwise withhold wages and force a worker to go to the time and expense of going to court.
Indiana workers who have been denied their wages should not hesitate to evaluate their legal options for holding their employers accountable for breaking the law.