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Wage Payment And Collection

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do if my employer is not paying the minimum wage?

You must receive at least the minimum wage per hour for all hours your employer requires you to work, including preparation time, on-the-job training, and required meetings. If your employer is not paying you at least the minimum wage, you can file a Labor Standards Complaint. More information about minimum wage rules can be found here.

When does my employer have to pay me overtime?

Unless an exemption applies, overtime is to be paid at one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a seven-day workweek. No employer or employee may enter into an agreement that would violate the overtime law requiring an employee to be paid overtime. If your employer is not correctly paying your overtime, you can file a Labor Standards Complaint. More information about overtime rules and exemptions can be found here.

When is my employer required to pay me after I've quit or been fired?

If you leave employment for any reason, you must be paid in accordance with the employer's regular pay schedule.

If my employer does not pay me on my regularly scheduled payday, what can I do?

If you are unable to resolve the payment issue with your employer, you can file a Labor Standards Complaint after 6 days have elapsed.

Is my employer required to give me notice when he fires me? Do I have to give notice when I quit?

Generally, notice is not required by either party. However, notice of quitting may affect payout of fringe benefits like vacation or PTO.

I just gave my employer two weeks advance notice that I was quitting. Instead of letting me work until the date of my resignation, he told me that I was discharged, and instructed me to collect my personal belongings and leave. Am I entitled to be paid for the time that I gave notice?

You are not entitled to any wages for the notice period because you did not perform any work during that period. If otherwise eligible, you may be entitled to Unemployment Insurance benefits for the period that you were willing to work but not allowed to work.

Am I entitled to my unused vacation/PTO when I am fired or if I quit?

Whether an employer must pay for unused benefit pay depends upon the terms of the employer's vacation or resignation policy. Wisconsin employers are not required to provide fringe benefits such as vacation, holiday, or sick pay. When an employer does decide to create a benefit policy, the employer is free to impose any conditions it chooses. Generally, IF an employee has earned vacation time AND there is no written forfeit policy, THEN the employer must pay the employee for any earned, unused vacation pay. If you have not been paid for unused vacation and believe you are entitled to this benefit, you can file a Labor Standards Complaint.

My employer wants to take my wages to make up for cash shortages or things I break. Can they do that?

Employers are only allowed to deduct certain items from an employee's wages, such as taxes, insurance premiums, etc.  Employers are not permitted to charge employees for breakages, cash shortages, fines or any other losses to the business, unless you have authorized the deduction in writing. More information about unauthorized deductions can be found here.

Does my employer have to give me a pay stub?

Yes. An employer must provide to the employee showing: (1) the hours the employee worked, (2) the wages earned by the employee, and (3) the deductions made from that paycheck.

The Law

Chapter 109, Wisconsin Statutes requires the department to process individual wage claims from employees who have not received the earned wages and establishes when employees must be paid.

How to File a Wage Claim

This section is enforced by filing a complaint using the Labor Standards Complaint Form with the Division within 2 years or through circuit court.

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