WAGE & OVERTIME MATTERS
Employees sometimes have difficulty getting paid what they are owed. Wage and hour disputes often arise when an employer does not pay an employee wages they earned, when an employer pays less than the minimum wage, or when an employer fails to pay overtime when an employee works more than forty hours per week.
We can address any type of dispute or violation related to your wages, including:
- Failure to reimburse for work expenses
- Improper classification of employees
- Minimum wage violations
- Off-the-clock work, unpaid
- Overtime violations
- Paid time off (PTO) violations
- Payroll errors
- Severance pay delays or discrepancies
- Unpaid wages and back pay
- Violations of labor laws regarding meal and rest breaks
- Wage discrimination
- FMLA disputes
Receiving Adequate Wages
The FLSA sets basic federal minimum wage standards. Current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. However, some states and municipalities are currently considering increases. For instance, Seattle recently increased its minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Although the FLSA sets the federal minimum wage, it does not cover other wage issues such as severance pay. It merely ensures that every employer must abide by a general rule for the least amount of wages a worker must receive. For workers who make more than $30 per month in tips, the minimum wages is $2.13. If the minimum wage standard is not properly observed, an employer could be liable for back pay of up to 2-3 years, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Receiving Proper Overtime Pay
The general rule for overtime is that overtime pay must not be less than one and a half times regular pay. Generally, overtime pay kicks in for any amount of time spent working beyond the regular 40-hour work week. However, it is important to note that not all workers are eligible for overtime pay. For instance, salaried workers are generally not eligible. Additionally, certain businesses and industries are exempt from the overtime pay rules outlined in the FLSA.
Wage and Overtime Complaints
Wage and overtime issues arise when an employer fails or refuses to compensate a wage worker for time spent working. In these cases, there are two ways an employee can address the issue: 1) file a complaint 2) file a lawsuit.
Wage and overtime complaints are filed with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Over 200 WHD offices around the country offer free and confidential assistance for filing wage and overtime complaints. The complaint forms often must be accompanied by additional documentation such as pay stubs and personal records of hours worked. The complaint may initiate an investigation and conclude with a determination by the Division based on the information presented and gathered.
In addition to filing a complaint, an employee may also file suit against an employer in a court of law. The purpose of a suit of this nature is to recover back pay or lost wages due to the employer’s violation of wage and overtime laws. When violations are found, employees are eligible to receive compensation for up to 2 years of back pay or 3 years if the violation was willful.
Unfair pay practices should not be tolerated in any industry, and we are passionate about helping workers to recover their lost earnings. We understand labor law violations employers and will fight to protect your best interests as an employee.