Do you think your employer is paying you unfairly? Then you must consider consulting lawyers for wage and hours violation. The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as well as the related state regulations, dictate that workers can file a legal claim in such instances. They can engage wage and hour lawyers to invoke the law when they feel they are not receiving minimum wages, accurate salary, or overtime. The sets of rules at the federal and the state levels can be complex to understand for a common man. Consulting a legal professional is essential for understanding whether you can sue for penalties or also the attorney’s fees in addition to the owed salary amount. Let’s understand what actually can be termed as an offense and how can a lawyer be helpful in such matters.
What Constitutes a Wage and Hour Violation?
There are various laws at the federal as well as the state levels which govern the payment of salaries to workers. The failure by an employer to pay the full or correct wages to staff members can be treated as a violation of the employees’ rights. People can file a claim for unpaid salary if the organization or individual liable for discharging their wages fails to pay them:
- The minimum wages according to the applicable federal or state regulations.
- The amount for overtime for hours worked over the legal maximum number of working hours specified in the relevant law. The federal regulations limit the weekly working hours to 40 for an individual. In some state hours, a daily limit of 8 hours has been specified.
- The compensation for ‘off the clock’ work.
- The money for the time spent during breaks as required by the law. Employers are legally bound to provide meal and rest breaks to their workforce.
- The amount for the time spent during wearing or removing safety gear or work uniform.
- The money spent on work-related travel.
How Can A Lawyer Help?
The conditions listed in the above section seem straight forward but their application is not so simple. You need lawyers for wage and hours violation to understand whether your case involves the violation of any law. For example, if a person receives tips or commission as part of her work, her boss needs to pay only the tipped minimum wage. However, if the hourly income is below the non-tipped minimum wage, she can file a minimum wages claim. Similarly, there is no legal obligation for compensating all types of travel. Understanding such intricacies can be tough for a layman. Let’s see how a labor and employment attorney can help in such cases.
1. Assess The Merits Of The Case
Attorneys are the best people to assess whether a violation has taken place or not. They will be able to help you know whether the offending party has breached an FLSA guideline or broken a state law. Another important aspect of such cases is to calculate the accurate amount that an individual is liable to receive. Lawyers are also best positioned to evaluate the correct unpaid salary amount. They will also help you understand whether filing a claim will be financially beneficial or not by comparing the costs with the expected compensation.
2. Explore All Options To Resolve The Matter
How do you think can an unpaid wage issue be settled? Most of the time, the answer will be by initiating legal action against the offending employer. However, suing the organization or the individual directly is not the only way to resolve the matter. In some states, the claims can be filed at the state labor department which is a cheaper and quicker alternative. Attorneys can also negotiate a settlement directly with the employer and help in receiving appropriate compensation.
What Vital Information Do You Need To Provide To The Lawyer?
An attorney cannot represent you successfully unless she has all the necessary information to build a case. Make sure you collect the following details before you approach a lawyer:
- Details about your employing organization or individual. You must include any document which contains the employer’s defined policies on wages, overtime, and breaks.
- A complete record of hours including overtime which you spent working. Highlight the hours for which you did not receive full or sufficient payment.
- The rate at which your salary is calculated.
- A brief description of the events along with relevant dates.
- The names of people responsible for calculating and settling your compensation.
It will be pertinent to consult labor lawyers for wage and hours violation as they are the best individuals to assess a case and give helpful suggestions. They will help you understand the damages that can be recovered and the expenses involved in pursuing the case.