Employment Litigation & Wrongful Termination Lawyers
Most people in the United States believe that for a full day’s work, one should receive a full day’s pay. Because most people are employed in order to earn the money necessary to take care of their family’s needs, they deserve the wages they are paid to be fair. This is why both the state and federal governments have drawn up laws that have been enacted to protect the right of the individual employee to receive a fair wage. However, these regulations are not always followed properly by employers.
If you have not been paid a fair wage, whether the wage paid was less than the standard minimum wage or if you were not paid correctly for overtime hours worked, you may need to consult with our employment litigation lawyers.
Fair Labor Standards Act and State Wage-Hour Laws
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay minimum wage and overtime. Employees are due overtime pay for working more than 40 hours per week in most situations.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that all nonexempt employees be paid at least the minimum wage for all hours worked. The FLSA also provides that nonexempt employees who work more than 40 hours in the workweek must receive at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for the overtime hours (hours worked over 40 in a workweek). A workweek, which can begin on any day of the week, is 7 consecutive 24-hour periods or 168 consecutive hours.
We handle claims for individuals, small groups and class actions. Lead (named) plaintiffs in class actions are often entitled to additional compensation, which, in some cases, can be substantial.
Employers frequently violate the FLSA and state wage/hour laws. Employees that are covered under FLSA and relevant state laws are entitled to compensation for all time worked and one and a half times their ordinary rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. For example, an employee who is normally paid $10 per hour is entitled to $15 per hour for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in a week. The employer is responsible to properly compensate employees for all time worked by the employee, including overtime, even if the employer did not know that the employee was working overtime.
Employers often try to avoid paying overtime in the following ways:
- Having employees work “off the clock”;
- denying employees overtime pay when the overtime is not approved by management;
- paying employees their regular rate for overtime work;
- carrying over one week’s overtime hours into another week;
- using a timekeeping method that automatically “clocks out” employees either for lunch periods or at the end of a time period, regardless of whether the employees continue working for the clocked-out time;
- requiring employees to arrive early to perform necessary preparations for work, including putting on or removing protective gear; and
- altering employees’ time sheets.