If you didn’t receive the wages or overtime you earned at work, contact Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP immediately. We might be able to help you hold your employer liable for violating federal laws.
At the federal and state levels, wage and hour laws protect employees from unfair treatment by their employers. Specifically, the regulations establish pay rates for overtime, minimum wage, and other standards affecting eligible workers. You might be entitled to compensation if your employer violated your rights under these laws.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP has over 20 years of experience representing clients wronged by others. Whether your employer denied you overtime or miscalculated your work hours, we can pursue legal action on your behalf to recover the money owed to you. Call us today at (205) 324-1212 for your free consultation with one of our Birmingham wage and hour/unpaid overtime lawyers to learn more about your legal options.
An Overview of the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law protecting employees in local, state, and federal governments and the private sector. It establishes various standards for covered nonexempt workers, including:
- Minimum wage – Alabama does not have a state-specific minimum wage law, so employers must pay their employees the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
- Child labor – Federal labor laws prohibit minors from working in jobs and conditions that jeopardize their educational opportunities, health, well-being, or safety.
- Hours worked – Hours worked include the number of hours an employer requires an employee to be on duty, at a prescribed workplace, or on the employer’s premises.
- Overtime – Overtime pay is available to covered, nonexempt employees. They must receive at least one and one-half times their regular pay rate if they work more than forty hours in a workweek. Employers 16 years and older aren’t limited to the number of hours they can work in a workweek. Employers don’t have to pay overtime for work performed on holidays, weekends, or regular days of rest unless employees work overtime on those days.
- Recordkeeping – Employers must outline FLSA requirements on an official poster displayed in the workplace. They must also keep a record of their employees’ pay and time.
The U.S. Department of Labor enforces other wage laws regarding wage, overtime, and benefits, such as:
- Davis-Bacon and Related Acts
- Service Contract Act
- Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act
- Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act
Employees Exempt from Overtime Pay
Typically, exempt employees receive a salary, which prevents them from earning overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week. Federal law exempts other types of employees from overtime, including:
- Computer employees engaging in the development and operation of computer systems or programs
- Professional employees performing jobs requiring advanced knowledge or education or involving particular talent in artistic or creative endeavors
- Administrative employees supporting business operations or management
- Executive employees, including management and directors
- Outside sales employees whose primary duty is obtaining contracts or orders for services or use of facilities or making sales and engage in primary responsibilities regularly and customarily away from the place of employment
Common Violations Under Federal Employment Laws
FLSA violations involve more than wrongfully denying overtime or paying the incorrect wage. Common federal employment law violations can include:
- Misclassification – An employer can avoid paying overtime if they wrongly misclassify an employee as exempt when they should be nonexempt.
- Miscalculating hours worked – Despite federal law, an employer might not count specific tasks as hours worked. For example, a business owner might leave out the time an employee spends cleaning or setting up for a task during their regular working hours.
- Business expenses – Employers don’t have to reimburse nonexempt employees for business-related expenses. However, they must pay at least the minimum wage under federal law. If workers’ business expenses reduce their pay below the federal minimum wage, their employer must reimburse them.
- Breaks and meals – FLSA doesn’t establish standards for breaks and meal times. However, employers must compensate employees for the time if they offer breaks. If the employee is entitled to overtime pay, the total hours worked should include time for breaks and meals.
- Travel time and expenses – Some employees travel for work. Employers must pay for the time their employees spend traveling for work-related tasks. They must also reimburse expenses, such as mileage and tolls, if employees use their personal cars to perform their jobs.
- Wrongful deduction – Under federal law, employers can make specific deductions on their employees’ paychecks. Entering deductions that result in pay falling below the minimum wage violates wage laws.
- Unused vacation days – An employer might provide their employees with a predetermined number of days they can use for vacation annually. Some allow employees to roll unused vacation days into the following year. If an employer terminates an employee, they must compensate for accrued but unused vacation days.
Compensation for Unpaid Wage or Overtime Claims
You can file a complaint under the FLSA if your employer violates any standards included in the act. Call the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor at 1-866-487-9243 or submit your complaint online.
You must include information such as:
- Your name and contact information
- Name of your employer
- Type of work you perform
You should also include copies of your pay stubs and other documentation to support your claim.
The department will review everything to determine whether an investigation is necessary. During an investigation, the investigator holds an initial conference with the employer or their representative. They will tour the establishment and conduct interviews with the employee who made the complaint. They will review the employer’s records to determine whether they comply with federal laws.
At a final conference, the investigator will discuss violations they found with the employer or their representative. If violations are found, the department will issue a citation requiring the employer to compensate their employee for unpaid overtime or wages.
Speak to an Experienced Birmingham Wage and Hour/Unpaid Overtime Lawyer Today
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP understands the financial strain of not receiving the pay you should. Your employer unfairly denied your overtime pay or usual wage for the hours you worked. We can help you pursue legal action against them and recover the compensation you deserve.
If your employer violated federal wage and hour laws, call us at (205) 324-1212 for a free consultation right now.