Back pay is a form of financial compensation owed to an employee by law. Back pay may be from work performed, should have been compensated differently, or could have been completed.
Many employees are unfamiliar with their rights and end up performing a service that goes unpaid. Back payment is their right under the law and a simple step to take in getting what they deserve. Back pay can result from various scenarios, including hours worked without proper compensation and omissions that entitle the employee to a higher wage than paid. Back pay is not intended to address punitive damages or emotional distress but rather only unpaid or underpaid wages.
Back pay does not include wages for time not worked, such as vacation days or sick time, nor does it include monetary damages for emotional distress.