Violations Result in Millions of Dollars in Unpaid Wages Each Year - Types of Unpaid Wages and Who is Eligible to File an Unpaid Wages Claim
Wage and hours class action lawsuits have become the most common form of employment lawsuits in recent years. In 2013, the Department of Labor mandated that employers pay nearly $170 million in back wages to settle over 24,000 wage and hour violations cases. Employees who believe they have been underpaid or denied lawful wages may have grounds to file a wage and hours claim against their employer.
Federal and state laws dictate labor laws to protect employees. Workers deserve to be fairly compensated in accordance with employment laws. In some cases, employers are knowingly denying wages or misclassifying their employees as exempt; in other cases, a company may be mistakenly underpaying their employees do to a lack of understanding of state and federal labor laws.
The number of companies engaging in wage and hour violations has risen sharply in recent years. Hard-working employees should not have to fight to be paid fairly. By filing a wage and hour claim, you can recover back wages and sometimes more for damages.
Experienced wage and hour attorneys are available to assess your circumstances, free of charge. With a thorough understanding of federal labor laws in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) and applicable state laws, our attorneys can determine any claims you may have.
Types of Wage and Hour Violations
Any time a company fails to follow federal or state labor laws governing the compensation of employees, the employee may have grounds for a wage and hour lawsuit. Common wage and hour claims include the misclassification of employees as exempt from overtime pay, failure to pay overtime to employees working more than 40 hours in a work week, failure to pay minimum wage to tipped employees, forcing employees to work off the clock, and not compensating employees for short breaks or work done at home.
Federal laws dictate that non-exempt employees must be paid time-and-a-half for any hours they work over 40 in a seven day work week. Some states have more strict laws, requiring employers to pay for any hours that exceed 8 in a single day. Many companies illegally average hours across pay periods or pay days as a means to deny workers the overtime pay they deserve.
By federal law, certain employees are exempt from overtime pay laws. However, many employees for both public and private entities, are entitled to overtime pay. Exempt employees include those in certain intellectual professionals that require higher training, such as physicians and attorneys, architects and teachers. Executives, such as higher-up administrators, are often exempt. Some creative professionals, such as writers, journalists, actors, and musicians are also exempt from receiving overtime pay.
Most other workers, especially those in service industries and those who work for hourly wages, are entitled to receiving overtime pay. Companies sometimes classify employees as exempt in order to avoid paying overtime, and hoping the employee does not understand their rights.
Some salaried workers also qualify for overtime pay. Contact a wage and hour attorney to learn about your rights.
Another way companies evade overtime pay laws is to classify employees as independent contractors. Very few labor laws apply to independent contractors, and employers can save money by hiring in this manner. The classification of “independent contractor” is often misapplied to save a company money. True employees deserve overtime pay.
Minimum Wage Claims
Federal law requires that all hourly employees be paid a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Some states have a higher minimum wage that must be paid by employers in that state. Another common wage and hour violation is when tipped workers, such as wait staff or another other employee who works for tips, is not paid the minimum wage. Minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour, paid by the employer. The rest of the worker’s minimum wage is expected to come from tips, but should an employee not make $7.25 or the state minimum wage in combined wages and tips, the employer by law must cover the difference.
Other Types of Wage Theft
Many of the finer details of compensation and wages are not governed by federal law. For example, meal breaks are not mandated. But some states do provide far more specific worker protections. And no matter what state you live in, you have a right to be fairly compensated for the work you have done. Companies that attempt to cut corners, falsify timesheets, coerce their employees into working off the clock, or otherwise shortchange their workers must be held accountable for monetary damages.
Hard-working employees should not have to fight to be paid fairly - by filing a wage and hour claim, you can recover back wages and sometimes more for damages.
Filing a Wage and Hour Claim
Labor laws can seem complex and overwhelming. However, you don’t need to figure it all out on your own. Our wage and hour attorneys are well-versed in federal and state labor laws. We will examine your case from all angles to determine whether you may have a claim. If you have been forced to work without pay or believe you have been underpaid, contact our firm for a free case review.
You may be worried your employer will retaliate if you file a wage and hour claim. Federal laws also protect you in this circumstance. If your employer fires you or otherwise punishes you for filing a wage and hour lawsuit for overtime violations or underpayment, they are breaking the law. Our attorneys are here to support and assist you as you seek damages from an unjust employer or company.
Wage and Hour Attorneys Help Workers Recover Lost Wages
Our attorneys handling wage and hour class action lawsuits on behalf of workers who believe they have been underpaid are employment litigation experts. They will work tirelessly on your behalf to assure you get the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been denied wages by an employer, a wage and hour attorney can help by answering your questions and giving you a sense of your legal options.
Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuits
Workers who have been denied fair wages or have been underpaid may have grounds to file a wage and hour claim or join a wage and hour class action lawsuit. We provide legal representation for wage and hour employment lawsuits on a contingency basis, meaning that we charge no fee unless we win compensation on your behalf.