Wage and hour violations are generally more complex than a worker who is eligible for minimum wage and doesn’t receive it. There are all sorts of intricacies within the law that contribute to unpaid wages. Here are a few scenarios of wage and hour violations:
Misclassification of Exempt and Non-Exempt
Sometimes this is done through a lack of knowledge on behalf of the employer, sometimes as a cost-savings measure to avoid paying overtime. If you are an exempt employee, you are exempt from being paid overtime. A non-exempt employee must be paid “premium pay”, or time and a half, for every hour over 40 worked. If you’ve been asked to work “off the clock” in a non-exempt role, you may be eligible for back overtime pay.
Figuring out if your position was misclassified is the first step to understanding whether you are owed overtime or not. If you are wrongly classified, you are entitled to recoup up to 3 years of back overtime.
While some companies simply choose not to acknowledge overtime, they are doing so outside of the law. With the required recordkeeping that is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it is only a matter of time before it is discovered. However, there are some companies that have practiced greater deceptions such as the recent case against a Papa John’s Pizza franchisee who rotated employees around different stores to avoid paying time and a half.
Unpaid Bonuses, Commissions, and Final Pay
If you quit or are terminated from your job, you are still eligible to receive your final paycheck, bonuses and/or commission. Your employer cannot withhold these payments and they must be made in a “timely” fashion, usually within the month of departure. Even in the case of unreturned equipment, they cannot legally hold your last paycheck.
Wage and hour disputes require the help of a skilled employment attorney. The laws governing them can be difficult to understand and employers are often not forthcoming with information or are unclear about it themselves. If you believe you have a right to unpaid wages or overtime, or have been working in a hostile work environment because of the grievance you filed, contact the attorneys at Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. today for a free consultation.