Steps unpaid Louisiana workers can take to get their money

Published: Aug. 6, 2017 at 9:35 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2017 at 10:51 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Getting your paycheck is something we all take for granted as always a 'sure thing.' But what can employees do if they're not paid?

Louisiana law requires employers to give workers their final paychecks within 15 days after the employment ends or the next payday - whichever comes first.

That's regardless of how the employments ends - whether the worker quits, is fired or laid off. That sounds simple enough until a former employee doesn't get that final check.

Ariel Lathon and Monica Hughes contacted us back in May after not getting their final paychecks from this T-Mobile store that closed at Mall Saint Vincent in Shreveport.

Shreveport T-Mobile store closing stuns employees asking for paychecks

"We have stuff that's coming out of our accounts, we're behind on money, payments, everything else. And it has messed up our families altogether," explained Lathon back on Friday, May 26.

Just hours later, after we contacted store operator TM Solutions, LLC in Shreveport and spoke to CEO Clay Lee, these ladies received partial payroll payments that day, with the promise of being paid the rest the following week.

Two and a half months later the five former store employees are still waiting.

"They're not answering the phones anymore. They're not taking phone calls. They're not returning text messages. They're not answering voice mails, nothing," said a frustrated Monica Hughes this weekend.

It turns out, Louisiana workers have two options for unpaid Wages: One, they can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. 

Or two, an unpaid worker can take the issue to small claims court. But Ariel Lathon fears court may not work in her case because she has almost no documentation in hand.

That's why she described her odds of ever getting the rest of the money she's owed. "Do pigs fly? Nah. It's 2017. I haven't seen a pig fly yet. So, probably not."

Perhaps the biggest surprise for these former employees is the public reaction they got after our first story back in May, two and a half months ago.

They say that on social media people were merciless, they were cruel and they just did not understand what they were trying to say.

"One guy literally looks for me on Facebook to harass me. Like he would go underneath my posts and put T-Mobile pictures of stores that were open," revealed Lathon.
Both women now have new jobs and hope to soon put this ordeal behind them.

TM Solutions CEO, Clay Lee, told us over the phone Sunday afternoon that they're now just waiting for the final numbers from T-Mobile on exactly how much employees are owed in commissions for their final month of employment.

Lee said that can take up to 60-days.

By law, if a court rules in favor of the employee in Louisiana they can be awarded a penalty of one's day's wages for every day the pay was late - up to 90-days.

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