The West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA) is a law that regulates the timing of payment of an employee’s wages. Upon separation of employment – regardless of whether an employee quits, resigns, retires, or is fired – an employer must pay that employee all wages due for work performed prior to separation. Payment must be made on or before the next regular payday on which the wages would otherwise be due and payable. An employer cannot lawfully withhold or refuse to pay an employee’s wages after their employment has ended.
If an employer failed to pay all wages earned on or before the next regular payday following separation – and if the employee complied with the Safe Harbor provision of the WPCA – an employee can not only recover their unpaid wages, but also can recover liquidated damages of two times the amount of unpaid wages, plus interest, plus attorney’s fees and costs.
Because wage disputes can get fairly complicated, it is best to contact an employment attorney to assist you in the pursuit and collection of your earned wages. Oftentimes, a simple letter from an employment attorney will resolve your wage dispute. Other times, it may be necessary to file a formal lawsuit to obtain the unpaid wages. Either way, an experienced employment attorney can develop a plan to best obtain the wages you earned.
At The Moore Law Firm, we have extensive experience litigating wage cases. We have prosecuted wage cases on behalf of employees, and we have also defended employers and individuals who have been accused of violating West Virginia’s wage laws. We have tried wage cases to jury verdict.