Wage and Hour Laws
An Employee’s Rights Under Wage and Hour Laws
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guarantees employees the right to fair payment. Many employers ignore these rules to make employees work without fair pay or overtime. You may have wage and hour claims against your employer if they are in violation of payment guidelines, equal pay for equal work principles, or overtime rules.
According to the FLSA, employers must pay all employees no less than the federal minimum wage, $7.25 per hour. Some states require a higher minimum wage than the federal government. If you work in a state with a minimum wage higher than $7.25, you are entitled to your state’s minimum
wage rate. You should double-check your pay stubs to make sure you are getting the amount you deserve.
According to the FLSA, your pay must be in the form of dollar amounts or legal forms of compensation that can be converted to dollar amounts, such as food and lodging. Coupons for a free lunch, for example, do not constitute fair pay.
Employers in some states can pay less than minimum wage to employees who receive tips by crediting tips received against the minimum rate. Still, if your pay and tips do not add up to at least the minimum wage in your state, your employer is in violation of wage and hour laws.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
Male and female employees who perform the same jobs with the same skill set and responsibilities must be paid the same wage and receive the same benefits. This includes all aspects of employment, such as job assignments, promotions, layoffs, or fringe benefits. Unfortunately, some employers still discriminate based on sex.
The FLSA does not limit the number of hours an employee can work in a week (unless the employee is a minor). However, an employee who works more than 40 hours in a week must be paid one-and-a-half times the regular rate of pay for every hour over 40 hours. In addition, many states have other overtime rules that benefit employees.
An employer might offer time off from work instead of money for overtime, but this compensatory time, or comp time, can be illegal in many situations. According to the FLSA, only government agencies are legally allowed to give their employees time off in place of wages. However, if you and your employer agree on the arrangement before work begins, comp time can be awarded in place of overtime.
If you feel that your employer has violated any wage and hour laws, then you may have a case.