We all know that if we are facing any issue at work environment, we can always reach out to the Human Resource department for consultation or discuss the issue and find a solution for it. We all know, as employees, we do have many rights and privileges. If you are an Immigrant and working in the USA, do you know that apart from your organization there is a labour department where you can go and file a complaint against your employer.
Before filing an official complaint try to speak to someone in person who is superior to you. Your Manager or someone in HR. See if you can resolve the problem. It may have simply been an oversight that can be easily corrected. Don't go into detail about the issue with anyone until you know you're speaking with someone who has the power to do something about it. This will help to keep the issue away from creating unnecessary gossip.
We know you want to handle this situation with a low profile but it's better to keep all the communication documentented. This will be very helpful if you have to file a complaint with the labour department in case the issue doesn’t get solved internally. The easiest way to do this is with an email to the person with whom you originally spoke. Keep your tone friendly and collegial, conveying the attitude that you're just checking in and confirming that the mistake was corrected.
Type your letter using a standard business-letter template. Describe any conversations you had with managers or supervisors, mentioning them by name and job title. If your employer agrees to look into the situation, keep in close contact with whoever is in charge of the investigation. Ask who you can contact for status updates and to make sure something is being done.
Before filing a complaint make sure your employer comes under federal law. Federal laws apply generally to all companies engaged in interstate commerce, as well as those that employee more than a set minimum number of people. The minimum number of employees required varies depending on the law. You can visit the DOL's (Department of labour) website for more information on this.
In case, Keep in mind that even if your employer isn't covered by federal law, there may be a state law that applies. Many state labor laws have essentially the same requirements as the federal law but applies to all employers within the state. Some states have even more stringent protection for workers than what is provided under federal law.
You can visit the website of DOL, you call them or meet with representative in person as well just take the appointment in advance, try to explain you case on call and file online form, which will ask you details and your employers details for this. There is also an option to maintain the privacy of yours.
Right after your official complaint is evaluated the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) agent may want to review the documents you've gathered or any evidence you have of the problem, including your pay stubs or communication you had with your supervisors or managers regarding the particular issue. If the WHD finds that you were unfairly denied wages or overtime compensation in violation of federal law, it may supervise payment of that money to you. The WHD may also seek penalties against your employer for violation of the law, up to and including the filing of criminal charges in some cases. The DOL may also file a civil lawsuit on your behalf. Even if it doesn't, you always have the right to file a private lawsuit.
Although you don't have to wait to see if the DOL intends to file a lawsuit before you go forward with one of your own, it may be in your best interests financially to wait for the results of the DOL's investigation before moving forward.
If you are an International student and just started working, you should know your rights about wages, if you have any issue reach out to your organization first, in case you are working with a small organization which does not have a Human Resource department you don't have to worry about it , in such case have conversation with your employer first, still if you need further help contact your DSO (Designated School Official).
Having a conversation with them is highly advisable. Keep an email conversation with them. Contact the labour department. You also have the option to reach out to the state department. Remember, no matter your Visa status, you do have some rights as an international student. There is no need for hesitation for anything. Visit the USCIS website, they have all the forms available for such issues.
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