One of the reasons why you should reach out to one of our employment lawyers is to determine the type of wage case you should pursue in a civil courtroom. Each of the following forms of wage theft requires the gathering of different types of evidence and a unique approach to litigating the case.
Minimum Wage Violations
Any employer that fails to pay workers the federally mandated minimum wage is guilty of wage theft. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has established a minimum wage that employers must pay workers. This includes tipped workers that make less than the standard minimum wage because tips make up for the difference. Many states have established a minimum wage that is higher and in some cases, much higher than the federally mandated minimum wage.
Another factor to consider is any deductions your employer makes on your paycheck that puts you under the minimum wage. Employers are allowed to deduct a few expenses, but some employers cross the legal line by deducting expenses the law does not allow them to deduct. If you suspect your employer has deducted money from your paycheck that it should not have deducted, speak with one of our state-licensed employment lawyers to find a legal solution to your predicament.
Proving a violation of the state of federally-mandated minimum wage requires you to submit paycheck stubs and any electronic records that demonstrate your employer paid you less money than what you deserve.
Overtime Pay Violations
Can you sue a company for not paying you overtime? The answer is yes, and your back pay can be a substantial amount of money.
The FLSA and state laws require employers to pay overtime to employees that work more than 40 hours in one workweek. Some states allow workers to receive overtime pay for working more than eight hours during a workday. A workweek spans seven days and it can start and end on any day. Some workers such as managers that receive a salary do not classify as workers that are eligible for overtime compensation. Overtime pay is one and a half times what a worker typically makes. For example, an employee making $12 an hour must receive $18 per hour for every hour worked over 40 hours during a workweek.
According to the FLSA, neither a worker nor an employer can waive overtime pay for any reason. Overtime pay violations occur for a variety of reasons.
- Misclassifying a worker’s job title
- Making mistakes while calculating hours worked
- Keeping inaccurate records for an employee that works at two different locations
- Rigging a time clock to undercount hours worked
- Falsifying timekeeping records
Working off the Clock
Employers that require workers to complete job-related responsibilities before clocking in and after clocking out violate the FLSA and state employment laws. Not only is it illegal to force you to work off the clock, but your employer can also be held legally liable if something happens to you while you work off the clock. For example, if you suffered an injury while working off the clock, your employer might face a personal injury claim.
Requests to work off the clock come in many forms:
- Require workers to respond to emails and voicemails before clocking in
- Demand employees work through rest breaks and unpaid meal periods
- Expect employees to perform job-related tasks at home
- Labeling an outside of the workplace project as volunteer work
- Not including travel time in the calculation of pay
- Failing to pay the appropriate wages for training
The United States Department of Labor requires employers to organize and maintain accurate time-keeping records that include wages, hours worked, and any extra compensation that is job-related. However, some employers flout the standards established by the United States Department of Labor by denying workers the compensation they deserve.
During orientation, you took a tour of the facility where you spend most of your time in the workplace. During the tour, you probably passed a bulletin board that contained several posters distributed by the United States Department of Labor. One poster from the Wage & Hour Division (WHD) describes every record your employer must keep concerning your wages. This includes your hourly pay rate, the number of hours you work each day, and the total hours you put in for a workweek.