(KLIX) – Workers will have a longer window in which to file a claim for unpaid wages if a bill is passed at the Idaho State Legislature.

House Bill 113, sponsored by Rep. Mat Erpelding, passed out of committee on Tuesday. It modifies current law that says workers who have been paid, but not paid in full, must make a claim within six months. The bill would extend the time frame to 12 months.

Erpelding says changes to the current law is necessary because many Idahoans do not realize they’ve had their wages stolen until after the current six-month deadline.

“Most Idahoans realize they have had wages stolen when they start to file taxes,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “In many cases, the wages were paid longer than six months ago so the individual can no longer file a claim to get their wages back.”

Employees often exploit loopholes in the law, while other times it may be a clerical error. Either way, he said, some people who receive their pay don’t double-check to see if they received the right amount.

“Unfortunately,” he said, “the only way to catch wage theft is for workers to pay close attention to their pay stub.”

The bill is now at the House for review.

“Wage theft is unfair to working Idahoans,” Erpelding said. “If you worked for a certain amount of money, you should be getting that amount. When Idahoans are taken advantage of, they should have the ability to take action to get what they deserve. Idahoans are among the hardest working people in the nation, and they must get compensated for their work.”

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