It should be simple – you get paid a fair wage for the hours you work. But wage and hour rules get complicated in a hurry, and employers don’t always follow the rules. The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) sets the minimum wage, requires employers to pay for overtime hours, and more.
Employers can classify their workers in several different ways – and they’ll usually choose the option that saves them the most money and hassle. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best choice for the worker. You could be mis-classified as an independent contractor when you’re really an employee under the law. And even if you’re an employee, you might be classified as “exempt” when you’re really not. In these situations, you could be losing wages, insurance, and other benefits that you’re rightfully owed. This has become a major problem in recent years, as employers look to cut costs at the expense of their workforce.
Employers are required to pay overtime to all eligible employees who work more than 40 hours in a week. Unfortunately, many employers find ways to avoid this requirement. For example:
- allowing employees to work “off the clock” (before clocking in or after clocking out);
- allowing employees to work through unpaid rest or meal breaks;
- requiring, expecting, or allowing employees to do extra work at home that’s not compensated;
- not counting time employees spend putting on or taking off protective gear and clothing at the worksite;
- not counting time employees spend traveling for work (for example, if employees are required to report to a particular location, then are transported or drive from there to a worksite), and
- not counting time spent on required training and other mandatory activities.
How We Can Help:
Understand Your Rights. It’s important that you have a full understanding of what your legal rights are, and what they are not. Many times it is difficult to determine whether you’ve been properly classified under the law. Companies often call their workers “contractors” when they’re really employees, or classify them as “exempt” employees when they really shouldn’t be. We can provide you with some certainty in these situations.
Wage & Hour Lawsuits. If your employer is unwilling to negotiate an out-of-court resolution of your dispute, a lawsuit may be in order. We represent employees and independent contractors in court, in arbitrations, and in front of the DOL. We’ll make sure you understand all of the risks and benefits involved, and if you decide to sue, we’ll shepherd you through – always advocating for your rights, and keeping your best interests at the forefront of the process.