America's workers are owed more than $163 million in back pay. See if you qualify.

Workers have three years to claim their back pay before it's handed over to the U.S. Treasury. If your company is listed, you can check and see if you are owed money.

Three sanitation workers gather cardboard boxes in Mount Vernon, New York on Jan. 3, 2024.

Over 208,000 workers across the U.S. are owed $163.3 million in back pay from companies that the U.S. Department of Labor says violated wage laws.

The Labor Department disbursed over $26.9 million in back pay last fiscal year through the worker-owed wage website. The wages benefited more than 3,972 workers. But thousands of workers have yet to claim their hard-earned money, and the department only holds onto it for three years before it's handed over to the U.S. Treasury.

The Labor Department set up a Workers Owed Wages website where anyone can see if their current or former employer is listed and check to see if their name is among those owed money.

Back pay refers to the difference between what the employee was paid and the amount they should have been paid.

Screenshot of worker owed wages database.

Why can't companies find the workers owed money?

Oftentimes, employees who are owed money change jobs, addresses or otherwise cannot be found.

"One of our top priorities is to ensure that the back wages we recover are swiftly paid to the workers who earned them," Jessica Looman, the department's wage and hour administrator, recently told USA TODAY.

"Yet, a portion of that money remains unclaimed because some of the workers due back wages cannot be located," she said. "They may have changed jobs or changed addresses and cannot be notified of the money owed to them."

Representatives from the Wage and Hour Division said many of the employees who are owed wages come from underserved populations, such as young workers, migrant workers and those earning near minimum wage.

Which industries paid the most in back wages that are unclaimed?

The food service, health care, and construction industries have the largest number of unclaimed back wages owed to workers, according to the Department of Labor.

A total of 36,534 people employed by the food service industry are owed back wages that have already been paid out by their previous employer.

How much back pay is owed in your state?

Pennsylvania employers paid over $19 million in back pay, the most of any state. These wages have still yet to be claimed. California, Texas, Massachusetts and Virginia followed as the states paying the most in back wages that remain unclaimed.

The top five states owed a cumulative of $74 million in back wages.

In Florida, the third most populous state in the U.S., over 10,000 employees are owed more than $6.17 million in back wages, according to the Department of Labor.

Lissette Vargas, acting district director of the department’s wage and hour division, told WTVJ-TV in South Florida that the companies who owed wages could have violated any number of federal laws, from minimum wage violations, overtime violations, to provisions involving child labor or the Family and Medical Leave Act.

For those who believe they may have experienced wage theft, the Labor Department provides resources and information on worker's rights.