Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) investigates wage claims under the Texas Payday Law, chapter 61 of the Texas Labor Code. The commission assists employees to recover their unpaid wages. Texas Payday Law covers all Texas business entities, regardless of size, except for public employers such as the federal government, the state or a political subdivision of the state. All persons who perform a service for compensation are considered employees, except for close relatives and independent contractors.
Payments subject to payday law
The kinds of payments subject to the Texas Payday Law include:
- Commissions and bonuses according to the agreement between the parties
- Compensation for services rendered regardless of how they are computed
- Certain fringe benefits due under a written agreement with or policy of the employer
A wage claim must be submitted no later than 180 days after the date the claimed wages originally became due for payment. If part of your unpaid wages were due within 180 days, submit a claim only for that part. Your claim should identify each type of unpaid wage claim and how you determined the amount due. If you are owed wages by more than one employer, submit a separate wage claim for each employer. It is important to note that TWC cannot investigate a wage claim if the employer filed for bankruptcy; you may need to file proof of claim directly with the Bankruptcy Court.
How to submit a claim
You can get a wage claim form from online, your workforce solutions office or mail a request to TWC. The deadline for submitting a wage claim is no later than 180 days after the date your claimed wages originally became due for payment. Your claim must be signed and declared as true under penalty of perjury. You may mail or fax your completed form, along with any information necessary to support the claim. Attach a copy of your most recent payroll check or stub. If your address or phone number changes, it is your responsibility to notify Labor Law in writing immediately.
Wage claim process
Texas Workforce Commission takes the following steps on receipt of a wage claim:
- They mail an acknowledgement letter to the employee making the claim. The acknowledgement letter provides a brief overview of the wage claim process and notice of receipt of the claim.
- They notify the employer by mail that a wage claim was filed and request a response from the employer. They send the employer an employer response form with a photocopy of the claim and any attachments submitted.
- Once the wage claim investigation begins, an investigator may contact either party for additional information as needed.
- Based on the investigation, TWC makes a decision in the case and notifies the employee and employer by mail. If either the employee or employer disagrees with the decision, each has rights to appeal.
Collection from employer
Wage amounts awarded in wage claim cases are not drawn from state funds. Any monies due to an employee must be collected from the employer before they are disbursed. If the money cannot be collected, TWC may file a lien as a permanent record of the debt owed to the employee by the employer.
Appealing a wage claim decision
To appeal a wage claim decision by TWC, you must send a written request within 21 days from the date of the decision notice. If you file your appeal by fax, then the appeal date is the date and time TWC received the appeal.
If you feel you have questions, take our quick questionnaire to determine your eligibility for benefits.