Mississippi workers have important rights under federal and state laws. Yet, discrimination, harassment and wage and hour violations are surprisingly common. Many businesses violate the rights of their workers to fuel their own financial gain.
Morgan & Morgan works for the people, not the powerful. Our Jackson lawyers vehemently protect your rights and empower you to work in a harassment-free environment as well as receive the wages you earned. We also protect you from retaliation for exposing your employer’s illegal conduct.
Wage and Hour Violations
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that employers pay at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and pay time and one-half for hours worked above 40 in a workweek for most employees.
A single employer may be reluctant to fight over “minor” wage and hour breaches that might shave tens or hundreds of dollars from their paycheck. First, no amount of money is too small to be considered insignificant – you should receive the money you earned.
Also, a single violation often indicates a systemic problem in a company. Chances are high that your employer is also stealing wages from other employees. Our employment lawyers investigate whether the wage and hour violation is widespread, and whether you can benefit by bringing the complaint as a class action.
The FLSA treats certain employees differently. For example, tipped employees may receive a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, as long as they make at least $5.12 per hour in tips to equal a total of $7.25 per hour. Tip pooling is legal as long as the tips are distributed only to front of house tipped employees, which may include servers, busboys and hostesses. The employer is not allowed to use tips to pay the salaries of chefs, line-cooks, dishwashers and managers. Tip skimming occurs when an employer pockets the tips of its employee. Taking tips is illegal and is tantamount to stealing.
The FLSA exempts certain classifications of employees from overtime requirements. Exempted employees include managers, professionals, executives and commissioned sales employees. Employers often misuse these exemptions to pay their employees less. In some cases, the salary falls far below the minimum wage per hour. Our Jackson employment attorneys hold employers accountable for misclassification of its employees and pursue the money owed in overtime pay.
Federal law prohibits employers from making adverse employment decisions, including recruitment, hiring, firing, promotion, pay, shifts, training and benefits, on an employee’s membership in one of the protect classes:
- Genetic information
- National origin
Our attorneys regularly represent clients in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints and discrimination lawsuits involving violations of:
- Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Equal Pay Act
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
Sexual harassment can make your workplace unpleasant and can interfere with your job performance. The harasser and the victim may be either a man or a woman, and may be of the same gender.
Conduct that may be considered sexual harassment includes unwanted advances, requests for sexual favors, derogatory gender-specific remarks and sexually explicit visual portrayals. An offhand remark or onetime incident would generally not rise to the level of sexual harassment, unless the incident was egregious. Numerous and consistent harassment is illegal if the conduct creates a hostile work environment or leads to an adverse employment decision.
Today’s modern technology has unleashed particularly viral means of sexual harassment through email, text messages and social media. One message sent to one person can soon spread to an entire company or industry and be saved permanently.
Taking that first step to protect your rights is the hardest part. Understandably, you may fear reprisal for reporting your employer’s illegal conduct. However, whistleblower laws protect you from retaliatory actions, such as termination of employment, putting you on an undesirable shift or failing to promote you because you came forward. These whistleblower laws reflect our firm’s philosophy of defending the person against the corporation. In response to retaliation, we seek all available remedies, including job reinstatement, lost wages and damages.
Call Our Mississippi Employment Law Firm Today
Morgan & Morgan stands up for Jackson workers’ rights. Our experienced Jackson employment law attorneys are ready to discuss your rights and options for recovery. Schedule a free case evaluation today.