Wage and Hour Violations Lawyers
If you didn’t receive the wages or overtime pay you are entitled to, do not hesitate to contact the employee rights and overtime lawyers of Wallace Miller. We can represent you in a case against your employer for violating wage and hour laws. You deserve compensation for the unpaid wages or overtime your employer wrongly withheld from you.
Federal and state wage and hour laws protect the rights of employees in local, state, and federal government and the private sector. These laws also establish a minimum wage, overtime pay rates, and other standards that affect non-exempt, covered employees. If you are eligible, you should receive at least the minimum wage set by federal law or laws in your state, and you should be paid appropriately for any work you perform beyond a typical forty-hour work week. You have a right to pursue legal action if your employer violates any federal or state labor law.
At Wallace Miller, we understand the financial consequences of not receiving the pay you should. Whether your employer miscalculated the number of hours you worked, denied you overtime, or took unlawful deductions from your paycheck, you have a right to pursue legal action. Our wage and hour violations lawyers are ready to be your advocate and fight by your side until the end.
Call Wallace Miller for your free consultation at (312) 261-6193 today or reach out to us online to learn more about your available legal options.
How the Fair Labor Standards Act Affects Wages
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law enacted to protect employees from unfair treatment by their employers. It includes various standards affecting private and federal, state, and local government workers. If you are a covered, non-exempt employee, you should make at least the minimum wage and receive appropriate payment for the number of hours of overtime you work.
The critical components of the FLSA include:
- Hours worked – The number of hours an employee works includes the time an employer requires an employee to be on the premises, at a prescribed workplace, or on duty.
- Minimum wage – The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Some state wage laws match the federal minimum wage, while others are higher or lower. An employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage if there’s a conflict between the federal and state laws that apply.
- Recordkeeping – The FLSA requires employers to display an official poster that includes an outline of federal requirements. They must also maintain records of their employees’ pay and time.
- Overtime – Overtime pay is available to covered non-exempt employees who work more than forty hours in a week. The pay rate must be at least one and one-half times the regular pay rate. Overtime pay for holidays, weekends, and regular rest days is not required unless an employee works overtime on those days.
- Child labor – Child labor laws prohibit minors from working in conditions and jobs detrimental to their health or well-being. These laws are also supposed to protect the educational opportunities of minors.
Additional wage laws enforced by the FLSA include:
- McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act
- Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act
- Davis-Beacon and Related Acts
- Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act
The FLSA does not establish or enforce standards that involve:
- Sick leave
- Severance pay
The agency also doesn’t address nonproduction cash bonuses. Typically, this type of arrangement is between an employee or their representative and the employer. Additionally, employers and employees can make arrangements regarding life insurance, educational assistance, travel accident insurance, and other benefits.
Types of Employees Exempt from Overtime
There’s a critical distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees. Non-exempt employees typically receive hourly pay. They are entitled to overtime pay for every hour they work beyond the forty-hour work week.
Exempt employees are often salaried and can’t collect overtime pay even when they perform their job duties for more than forty hours in one week. The FLSA also exempts specific occupations from overtime. Exempt employees include:
- Professional employees whose work involves particular talent in a creative or artistic endeavor or requires advanced education or knowledge
- Executive employees, including directors and management
- Outside sales employees who receive compensation and usually obtain sales contracts while working away from the place of employment
- Computer employees who engage in the operation and development of computer programs or systems
- Bartenders, servers, and other tipped employees
- Administrative employees who provide support for business management or operations
Unfortunately, employers commonly misclassify workers in certain occupations as exempt employees. Although their title or job description might seem like they belong to an exempt class, they are entitled to overtime pay. These employees can include:
- Automobile damage appraisers
- Retail assistant managers
- Bookkeepers and fund accountants
- Loan underwriters
- Insurance underwriters
Common Wage and Hour Violations
Wage and hour violations involve wrongfully denying an employee the wages and overtime they should receive under federal or state law. However, wage and hour violations can also include a range of other circumstances, such as:
- Miscalculating hours worked – An employer might require an employee to spend their working hours cleaning up or setting up for the tasks they’re supposed to complete. However, they won’t include that time as hours worked even though state and federal laws require it.
- Unused vacation days – Employees often receive a predetermined number of vacation days every year. Some employers allow these days to roll over into the next year if the employee doesn’t use them. Others don’t. However, many states require employers to compensate employees upon termination for vacation days they accrued but did not use.
- Independent contractor misclassification – State and federal wage laws protect individuals classified as employees. Unfortunately, this leaves independent contractors with minimal rights to minimum wage requirements, paid time off, and other advantages of non-exempt employees. Sometimes, employers purposely classify someone as an independent contractor to avoid providing them the benefits they deserve.
- Business expenses – Although the FLSA does not require employers to reimburse non-exempt employees for business expenses, they must pay at least the federal minimum wage. Reimbursement is only necessary if the business expenses reduce pay below the minimum wage.
- Travel time and expenses – Many employees must travel as part of their job duties. Employers are supposed to pay employees for “non-commute” time in some states. This is the time an employee spends traveling to and from appointments for work. If an employee uses their personal vehicle to perform work-related tasks, their employer must reimburse them for expenses, such as tolls and mileage.
- Wrongful deductions – Laws establish the type of deductions employers can and cannot make in their employees’ paychecks. An employee’s pay can fall below minimum wage if the employer takes out wrongful deductions. This is a violation of federal and state wage laws.
- Meals and breaks – Federal regulations do not impose required breaks for employees to eat lunch, get coffee, or take a short rest. However, if an employer offers these breaks, they must compensate employees for this time. That means they must include breaks in the total number of hours worked to determine whether overtime pay is necessary.
The wage and hour violations lawyers of Wallace Miller have decades of experience representing clients mistreated by their employers. You should reach out to us immediately if you believe your employer violated any wage or hour laws so we can investigate.
Filing a Complaint for Violations of Wage and Hour Laws
If your employer violated any federal or state regulations regarding wages or overtime pay, you could file a complaint under the FLSA. You should contact Wallace Miller, so we can prepare the complaint and file it on your behalf. Most people don’t know what to include in the documentation or how to file it properly. If you make an error, it could negatively affect the outcome of your claim.
The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor will review the complaint and decide if they want to investigate. They might contact us for additional information to conduct their investigation or pursue legal action against your employer. If they determine your employer violated the wage and hour laws, they will issue a citation requiring your employer to compensate you for unpaid wages or overtime and to pay civil penalties.
At Wallace Miller, we understand the challenges you face when you don’t receive the pay or overtime you are entitled to under federal and state laws. Whether your employer misclassified you as an independent contractor or purposely withheld wages owed to you, we can help bring a wage and hour claim against them. Our legal team will dedicate the necessary time and attention to every legal aspect of your case and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.
You can depend on our wage and hour violations lawyers to provide the guidance and support you need. We will handle each step of the legal process on your behalf, so you don’t feel burdened by the responsibility. You will be our top priority from the moment you hire us to the end of your case.
If your employer violated wage and hour laws that affected your pay, call Wallace Miller at (312) 261-6193 today for your free consultation.