| Read Time: 3 minutes | Unpaid Wages
damages for unpaid wages

Arizona workers are entitled to fair compensation for their labor. When employers fail to honor this fundamental right, employees can seek damages for unpaid wages, including backpay, interest, and penalties.

Keep reading to learn about the types of recoverable damages available and the steps you can take to ensure a successful claim. While the process may seem daunting, knowing what you are entitled to and how to secure your unpaid wages can make a significant difference in repairing your situation.

What Types of Damages for Unpaid Wages Can I Recover?

recoverable damages for unpaid wages

Unpaid wages can occur in various ways, including non-payment of overtime, minimum wage violations, illegal deductions, and failure to pay for all hours worked. In all cases, Arizona and federal laws provide several avenues for recovery. Depending on your circumstances, here are the damages you may be able to recover:

  • Back pay. This includes regular hours, overtime, and any bonuses, commissions, and other forms of compensation agreed to in your employment contract or under state law.
  • Treble damages. Arizona law allows employees to recover damages up to three times the regular pay on unpaid wages. This interest is a penalty for the payment delay and can add significant amounts to the total recovery.
  • Liquidated damages. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Arizona law may entitle eligible employees to liquidated damages. This amount is equal to your unpaid back wages, doubling the compensation your employer owes you.
  • Attorney’s fees and legal costs. Arizona law permits the recovery of reasonable attorney’s fees and other legal expenses incurred in pursuing unpaid wage claims.

Keep in mind that every wage claim is unique. The specifics of your situation will determine the exact nature and amount of your recoverable damages.

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How Do I Recover Unpaid Wages?

Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 23, Article 7 outlines an employee’s options for recovering unpaid wages, including guidelines for filing a wage complaint with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) or a civil action against an employer in state court. But here are several other essential steps to consider:

  • Contact your employer. If you feel comfortable, discuss the issue with your employer and request they pay your unpaid wages. They may not be aware of the problem, or it could be an oversight.
  • Document everything. Collect all relevant information, such as hours worked, wage rates, pay stubs, and any communication related to your unpaid wages. Accurate records will strengthen your claim.
  • Act promptly. Remember that Arizona’s statute of limitations only allows a one-year window to file wage claims. 
  • Consult an attorney. An experienced attorney who understands employment law can explain your rights and the best course of action. They can also handle negotiations, ensure correct and prompt filing, and, if necessary, litigate on your behalf.
  • Consider alternative dispute resolution. Your attorney may suggest mediation or arbitration, which may be a viable path to resolving unpaid wage disputes and offer a quicker and less adversarial means of achieving a fair settlement.

By taking appropriate action, maintaining thorough records, and seeking professional legal assistance, you can confidently navigate the recovery process and increase your chances of recovering what your employer owes you.

Trust the 50+ Year Expertise of Shields Petitti & Zoldan, PLC for Your Unpaid Wages

Shields Petitti & Zoldan, PLC understands employees’ unique challenges. We know that when employers refuse to pay employees what they owe them, it destabilizes lives. That’s why our skilled attorneys offer clear, expert guidance to help clients through the process.

Our experienced attorneys are compassionate advocates who have devoted their careers to bettering employee’s lives. You deserve fair treatment, and Shields Petitti & Zoldan is here to ensure you are. If you believe your employer owes you unpaid wages, don’t wait any longer; contact us now. The sooner you take action, the sooner you can set things right.

Author Photo

Attorney Michael Zoldan provides legal counsel to individuals and small businesses throughout Arizona. Mr. Zoldan’s practice is based on aggressive and detail-oriented representation, focusing on employment discrimination, wage and hour disputes, harassment, and wrongful termination. Prior to forming Shields Petitti & Zoldan, Mr. Zoldan worked for numerous law firms where he had an opportunity to hone his litigation skills by working on multiple litigation cases at a time with some of the most skilled litigators in the state.

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