FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes a national minimum wage, requires the payment of overtime for all hours worked over forty (40) hours per week, and prohibits child labor. Many employees are unaware of their rights under the FLSA and, as a result, are unaware that employers are violating their rights in a number of different ways.
Minimum Wage Violations
Under Federal Law, all employees are entitled to minimum wage equal to at least $7.25 per hour for the first 40 hours they work per week (unless your state has a higher minimum wage). After 40 hours per week, employees must be paid time and one half for all hours over 40. If an employee is paid on a salary basis, that salary must cover the first 40 hours per week at $7.25 per hour.
Employees who receive tips as part of their job are also entitled to minimum wage. However, an employer is potentially allowed to take a “tip-credit” and pay employees lower hourly wages if the employee is explicitly notified of the tip credit and also assuming the employee receives all tips they are entitled to. Many employers in the food service industry fail to provide employees with any minimum wage, arguing that their employees have received proper wages through tips received. This policy is unlawful and violates the FLSA. Furthermore, in order for employers to take a “tip-credit” they must strictly comply with notification requirements and tip redistribution requirements. If you are a tipped employee who has not received minimum wage, call the FLSA lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer for a free consultation regarding your employer’s unlawful actions.
Under the FLSA, all non-exempt employees are entitled to time-and-one-half pay for all hours worked over forty (40) hours per week. While “executive,” “administrative” and “professional” employees are exempt from the FLSA overtime provisions, these exemptions are narrowly defined and very hard for an employer to prove. An employer may attempt to take advantage of employees by classifying them as “executives”, “administrative” and “professional “and thereby avoid paying overtime pay, even though the employees’ responsibilities would not entitle them to such a classification. Therefore, you should consult with an FLSA attorney at Fitapelli & Schaffer to determine whether you are properly classified and whether you are receiving proper overtime wages. Salaried employees not being entitled to overtime pay is a common misconception. In fact, many employees who earn less than $100,000 per year are entitled to overtime pay.
As with minimum wage violations, employers attempt to mislead their employees in order to avoid paying lawfully earned wages, such as overtime pay. Furthermore, you are entitled to payment for all hours worked; employers often violate FLSA provisions by requiring an employee to report to work early and leave late, and unfairly refuse to acknowledge this time on employee timesheets. Regardless of whether you are “clocked in” or not, if your employer requires you to be working, you are entitled to be paid for those hours.
If your employer has engaged in any of the unlawful activities described above, please contact the FLSA lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer to schedule a free consultation. You may be entitled to back pay – wages owed but not received – and are likely entitled to liquidated or double damages where your employer did not act in good faith. The law provides for only a limited time to bring a lawsuit, so if you believe that you have not be paid proper minimum wage or have wrongfully been denied overtime pay, do not delay and consult with one of our attorneys for assistance with your legal needs.