Workers Owed Wages

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforces some of our nation's most comprehensive labor laws. When we find violations, we often recover unpaid wages on behalf of employees. The agency makes every effort to locate and notify all employees due back wages. If we cannot find an employee, we hold their back wages for three years while we continue our efforts to locate them. After three years, if we remain unable to find the person, we are required to send the money to the U.S. Treasury.

If you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD, you can search our database of workers for whom we have money waiting to be claimed.

Process to Receive Your Owed Wages

  1. Find Your Employer

    First step in the process

    In the WOW Application, you will search for your company and select it.

  2. Find Yourself in the System

    Second step in the process

    Entering your name, the application will confirm that you have wages owed to you.

  3. Fill Out Your Contact Information

    Third step in the process

    Next, fill out some contact information that we can use to send you your Back Wage Claim Form, and instructions.

  4. Upload Signed Claim Form

    Fourth step in the process

    You'll receive your Back Wage Claim Form by email.  Once it's filled out and signed, follow the instructions to create a login.gov account. You will then upload your form and supporting documents that will include one of the following:

    • Copy of your Social Security card
    • Copy of your Individual Taxpayer Identification Card (ITIN)
    • W-2
    • Pay stub
    • Any other supporting documentation verifying your identity
  5. Processing & Sending Your Owed Wages

    Fifth step in the process

    After sending in your Back Wage Claim Form, it will take the Wage and Hour Division 8-10 weeks to process it, and then send you a check for your owed wages.

Search the Workers Owed Wages database

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