Can I pusue legal action if my old employer does not pay me the rest of my salary? 3 Answers as of August 18, 2011

My former employer owes me money for work completed between January 2011 and June 2011. I was not working with a contract and finally decided to quit without notice since he owes me over $5000. I have numerous e-mails from him stating that he knows he owes me the money but just didn't have it in his account. These e-mails were replies to e-mails I sent to him over the course of the 5 to 6 months of non-payment. My question is - while I don't have a contract, would these e-mails hold up in court as proof that he knows that he owes me money? Would I be able to pursue legal action?

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Law Office of Tadd Dietz, PLLC
Law Office of Tadd Dietz, PLLC | Tadd Dietz
The Utah Payment of Wages Act set forth the requirements for paying wages to employees in Utah. The Utah Labor Commission is in charge of administering this law. An employee working for a private employer may file a wage claim with the Utah Labor Commission to recover unpaid wages. See . The Utah Labor Commission has the jurisdiction in cases involving unpaid wages that are at least $50.00 but no more than $10,000.00. An employee must file the wage claim with the Utah Labor Commission "within one year of the date the wages were earned." See Utah Code Section 34-28-7(1)(e). Additionally, the Utah Labor Commission does not have jurisdiction to handle claims involving independent contractors. Independent contractors that want to recover unpaid wages must file a breach of contract claim in court to recover unpaid wages. The Utah Labor Commission does not handle cases involving overtime unpaid wages Such overtime unpaid wages would have to be pursued in court. Unpaid overtime claims fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The FLSA requires covered employers to pay non-exempt employees a overtime rate of one and a half times an employees regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a work week. However, there are some employment positions that are considered exempt, and employees in such exempt positions are not entitled to overtime compensation. An employee that is seeking to recover unpaid overtime wages may file with United States Department of Labor.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 8/18/2011
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
You may sue in a small claims court preferably. However, you may want to consult with or get a collection attorney to represent you.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 8/18/2011
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
They are good proof. He owes you money. You can sue him or file a complaint with labor board and seek penalties of up to 30 days wages.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/17/2011
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