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Richmond takes claim of shorted paycheck to state agency

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond man says the numbers in his final paycheck just didn’t add up and he’s taking his claim to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. Darrell Taylor contacted Problem Solvers to ask us to find out more about the claims process.

He said he wants to help other people who might be in the same boat.

“I feel like I work for it, I need it and I want it,” Taylor explained. He is talking about money he believes should have been included in his final paycheck at the Community Supermarket on Mechanicsville Turnpike.

He says collecting it all has been frustrating.

“I was like you owe me a check in the hole, plus my vacation and the two-day check I got should have been for two and half days. So, he said I gave you everything I owe you” Taylor explained. He was referring to a conversation he says he had with the owner of the store.

The former store employee said he disagreed with the owner and took another step. He showed us paperwork that he filed for a claim with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. Problem Solvers contacted the store owner about the case. A manager there spoke on the owner’s behalf and said the owner had paid Taylor all of the money that he’s due. He said it included a check for two days and a $500 check to hold Taylor over until he found another job.

He showed Problem Solvers documents that he shared with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, claiming the figures came up short.

“My last check was August 4th and when I got that, I should have gotten everything. They held my vacation pay and the next week even though they gave it to me, it was $125 short” Taylor said.

He asked Problem Solvers to find out how the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry can help employees who need to file a claim for unpaid wages. We found out the agency can assist in the collection of the unpaid wages for hours an employee actually works.

They cannot however collect fringe benefits. There are also some other situations that the agency won’t get involved in, like claims from independent contractors. The department also will not handle collecting vacation, sick, holiday or severance pay.

Though a worker may be entitled to that pay by law, they might have to seek assistance from a private attorney. Taylor says he is now banking on his claim to work out. He’s waiting on the labor board to investigate his case. He hopes this story will help others who may find themselves in a similar situation.

Problem Solvers also learned before an employee can file a claim with the Department of Labor and Industry, they must request payment from their employer. If they are denied payment, they can them complete the claim for unpaid wages form on the agency’s website.

Employees must submit a pay stub to verify rate of pay and employment. They must also submit documents that will support their claim. If the board investigates and finds that money is owed to an employee, the agency will contact the worker.