Not Getting Paid? Know Your Rights - WSPA.com

Not Getting Paid? Know Your Rights

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UPSTATE, S.C. -

With 8 kids and working since she was 13, Natasha Thomas-Pugh has had several long careers. But her latest job through a temp agency, requiring standing for long hours, was short lived.

"The second night, because I have diabetes, my legs went numb," said Natasha.

By the third night on April 3rd, Natasha said she had to leave.

"I worked 30 hours," said Natasha. "Have not been paid."

The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation handles hundreds of wage complaints a year through the Office of Wages and Child Labor. That office doesn't have the legal authority to collect unpaid wages. But it can issue citations for wage violations, as in, not getting paid, late pay or illegally deducted pay.

In 2013, the office handed out more than 2,600 citations to employers and investigated more than 1,100 wage complaints from employees.

"Some wage complaints are resolved and closed in one day and others can take much longer. The office strives to resolve all complaints within 60 days," said SCLLR Spokesperson Lesia Kudelka.

Kudelka also says many employers who receive a citation end up paying the employee. If that doesn't happen, the next option is to take the employer to magistrate court.

Natasha didn't have to go that far. She got a call Friday from the temp agency, which is working with her to resolve the payment issue.

And Natasha is now working for someone else.

"I'm a medical transport," said Natasha. "I love my clients and right now my clients are everything to me."

Experts say employees can do their part by making sure they're using the system they're instructed to, to report time worked. Otherwise it could cause a delay in pay.

To file a wage complaint with the state, click here. Or call (803) 896-4300.

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Tracey Early
Tracey co-anchors the 5:30 and 7 p.m. newscasts and is a general assignment reporter.
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