With the erratic economy, wage and hour claims are among the most prevalent lawsuits in the United States. Thousands of such cases are filed all over the country every month, and the number is expected to grow even more in the coming years, as employers continue to short employees out of the proper wages they are due. All of this highlights the increased focus on addressing the needs of workers in the country, which are the backbone of any company.
Certain schemes employers use to deprive employee out of proper compensation include:
-Placing an individual on Salary even though they should be properly paid overtime
-Failure to pay time and a half for overtime
-Making an employee sign out and work off the clock
-Paying an employee less than minimum wage
-Telling the employee that they work they do pre-shift or post-shift is not compensable
-Failure to factor in differential pay into the overtime calculus
Origins of the wage and hour law
The current incarnation of the wage and hour is rooted in the Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938. Also known as the Wages and Hours Bill, the law forms the basis of the current implementation of the Federal wage and hour law in the United States. This original version of the wage and hour law established a maximum workweek of 44 hours and seven days. The law also implemented a minimum wage rate applicable all over the country, and a “time-and-a-half” rate of pay for overtime situations when necessary.
Among the other practices established by the law is the prohibition on the employment of children in oppressive labor conditions. This particular section of the law provides protection for minors against harsh or extremely difficult working environments. Over the years, the law has been subjected to numerous changes, revisions, and additions, until it evolved into the form that is currently in effect to this day.
Common Fact Patterns of Wage & Hour Abuse
- Call Centers in which workers have to appear 15 minutes early pre-shift and are not paid for set up time
- Account Managers who do not manage any people
- Workers paid a day rate no matter how many hours they work
- Nurses who are paid hourly, but not paid time and a half for overtime
- Restaurant workers who are paid less than minimum wage without a tip credit
- There are countless ways in which employers try to deprive their employees of proper wages. You can call (800) 9100-LAW, text (201) 212-6000 or click (877) 561-0000 from your mobile device to speak with a lawyer about whether you are receiving proper compensation. You may be entitled to double damages plus attorney fees.
Classification of Salaried Employees
Did you know that even if you are salaried you might be entitled to overtime! The law holds specific qualifications that must be met in order to classify an employee as ‘salaried’. While employers may believe that classifying an employee as salaried entitles them to work them extended hours without compensation, the law defines this as not necessarily true.
There are several stipulations that must be met in order to be correctly classified as salaried, including managing numbers, and the contract that is entered into for employment. Speak with an experienced Employment Law Attorney today, or complete a case analysis form and have one of our staff contact you.
Classification of Independent Contractors
In order to avoid responsibility for employees, many companies are choosing to label their workers “Independent Contractors.” The IRS has a fact sheet that sets the criteria between an Independent Contractor versus an employee. By classifying the individual as an Independent Contractor, the employer may try to evade responisiblities such as employment taxes and overtime pay. The more control the employer exerts on the individual, and the less likely the individual is able to take other work the more likely it will be considered an employer/employee relationship.
We are Ready to Fight for Your Rights
With the increasing amount of failure to pay proper wages the legislatures in each state are taking the issue very seriously and in some instances calling it what it is and enacting penalties for “Wage Theft”. If you have encountered any of the above situations or more, we are ready to help you. Our attorneys have extensive employment law experience and can help get you the entitled compensation that you deserve. You may be entitled to double damages and attorney fees paid by the defendant. The earlier you enlist the aid of a qualified attorney, the better able he will be able to help you with your claim. We only take the case on contingency, which means we are only paid if we win your case and we can take calls after hours or on weekends when it’s most convenient to you so your employer doesn’t find out.