Sometimes, it can be hard to figure out whether you’re being fairly paid. On the one hand, there are situations that you know you deserve more compensation for, like working overtime or taking on roles outside of your official job title. But what if you feel like your job isn’t paying enough despite the fact your boss thinks so? Depending on your circumstances, there are several options to look at.
Know Your Worth
First and foremost, you need to know how much your time, education, and skills are worth. Many people unfortunately accept low-paying positions because they do not believe they’re capable of getting anything better. They low-ball their salaries in job interviews, and accept far less compensation than someone should for what they do.
A good way to ensure you’re being paid fairly is to explore the median annual salary for your profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to start, but keep in mind salaries do fluctuate based on location and individual factors, like how long you’ve been employed and your educational background. To get a closer figure of how much your job should pay you, look at sites like Glassdoor for positions in your area. There, you’ll be able to figure out exactly how much someone working a job like yours is earning on average, and whether you’re being fairly compensated.
Investigate Legal Options
An unpaid wages lawyer specializes in helping both contractors and employees receive the compensation they’re owed. Whether you are a full-time, salaried employee or you only worked a few hours for someone, you are entitled to just payment. If you have ever had payment withheld by an employer, either for hourly wages or a salary, you may have a case. Not being compensated for overtime, missing bonuses, and never having business or travel expenses reimbursed are also good reasons to seek the legal counsel of an attorney.
Ask for a Raise or Due Payment
Asking for the money you feel you deserve can be the easiest solution in some cases. While it is intimidating, you aren’t doing anything wrong. No boss should make their employees feel like they’re overstepping a boundary by talking about their compensation or requesting more when it’s deserved. Before you ask for a raise, make sure you’ve been employed for at least one year and have measurable achievements to list as justification for the pay increase.
However, if you are not being paid a fair amount, or you are owed money for work already completed, you should act immediately. You should bring any proof you have to your employer and ask them to pay you immediately. If they refuse, then you can talk to a lawyer.
Although it’s frustrating and unfair, unpaid wages can be recovered. Everyone has a right to equal and fair pay, so don’t let fear or self-doubt stop you from acquiring the money you’re owed. An employment attorney can help you build a solid case and explore all of your options. People who work with a professional tend to have better success in receiving their unpaid wages, and it can also prevent situations from escalating into unnecessary conflict.
Author information: Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now writes articles about health, business, family, and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.