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Is Your Employer Not Paying You Minimum Wage?

minimum wage definition

If you or a loved one have been receiving wages below the mandated minimum wage, contact our experienced wage attorneys at Heidari Law Group. We understand the importance of hard-earned money, and the worries that come with not being paid your rightful amount. There are a complicated set of minimum wage labor laws that one must understand when filing a claim, and our labor attorneys could help you.

What Is Minimum Wage?

The minimum wage is the lowest amount an employer should pay you for your work. Each state has a different mandated minimum wage. This mandate applies to all types of employers, regardless of the type of business they are engaged in. The minimum wage is determined by several key factors, including inflation and rising costs of the standard of living.  Minimum wage rights cannot be waived. If your employer has made you sign a contract that waives your minimum wage pay for a lesser amount, contact us.

Companies with employees must abide by the Fair Labor and Standard Act (FLSA). The FLSA regulates how much the minimum wage should be on a federal level. Employers must abide to both federal law and state law. When the two laws are contradicting each other, they must abide to the highest pay. For instance, if the minimum wage on the federal level is $8, but the state requires it to be $9, then the employer must abide by the highest number. The employee’s wages would then be $9.


California Minimum Wage Laws

Under state law, all California employees must be paid at or above minimum wage. As of January 1, 2017, it was decided that the minimum wage would increase every year by a dollar. Starting January 1, 2021, the minimum wage in California increased to $13.00 for employers who have 25 or less employees, and $14.00 for employers who have 26 employees or more. Minimum wages could also be mandated differently by each city. For example, the city of Los Angeles has mandated a $15.00 an hour minimum wage for employees.

Nevada Minimum Wage Laws

Starting July 1, 2020, Nevada’s minimum wage increased to $9.00 an hour (or $8.00 for those employers who offer benefits such as health insurance). Each year, the minimum wage would go up by 75 cents until 2024.

Overtime Wages

All employers must pay their employees their wages when employees work above their required hours, also known as “overtime” wages. The hourly wage amount is determined by multiplying the regular hourly wage by an hour and a half. Overtime hours are hours beyond the 40-hour work week for full-time employees.

Workers Exempt from Minimum Wage

There are certain workers that could be exempt from being paid minimum wage, as described by the Fair Labor Standards Act. To better determine if these exception categories apply to your workers, contact our office.

  1. Full-time students who also work in retail, service, or colleges could be paid less than the minimum wage. They are also limited to working only 20 hours a week when they are attending school. When school is not in session, workers could work up to 40 hours.
  2. Workers with disabilities could be paid lower than the minimum wage. The wage must be proportionate to the work. This is the most significant minimum wage exception the Fair Labor Standards Act deals with.
  3. Workers who are under 20 years old could qualify for lower pay. When the worker reaches 20, they must be given minimum wage pay.
  4. Under federal law, employees who are tipped could receive wages that are lower than the minimum wage. California has made this illegal, with tipped workers receiving minimum wage with their tips.

Termination and Resignation Wages

When you are terminated from your job, your employer is mandated to pay you for all the unpaid hours leading up to that moment. This payment should be paid as soon as possible. if you resign from your position, your employer has 72 hours to pay you for your unpaid hours. There is a penalty fee for each day your employer doesn’t pay on time.

Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are those who do not work under the immediate control of the employer, they essentially manage their hours and how they execute their duties. An independent contractor also performs work that is not within the regular scope of the business.

A worker could either be categorized as an “employee” or as an “independent contractor.”

An independent contractor will not be afforded the same wage benefits like paid time off or lunch breaks. An example of this would be when a restaurant hires an artist to paint a mural on one of the walls next to the bar. The restaurant could consider the artist an independent contractor since the artist will control the work, the work is temporary, and the work consists of duties the restaurant is not in the business of.

Problems With Minimum Wage

In certain cities, such as Los Angeles, it has become difficult to be able to live alone on a minimum wage salary. Especially during COVID 19, many resorted to starting small businesses from home, and even getting roommates to split the housing rent. In the current news today, there have been many politicians arguing for an increased minimum wage. An increased minimum wage has both negatives and positives. For example, many small businesses will not be able to survive with increased labor costs. Many businesses would resort to letting some of their employees go, driving an increase in unemployment rates. However, other critics argue that only a small percentage of the workforce receives a minimum wage, and so it would not have a significant impact as many think. Others argue that a raise in the minimum wage would boost economic recovery, especially after months of unemployment during the pandemic.

Employers should constantly review their salary and wage labor requirements with the Labor Commissioner’s Office in their respective states. Failure to do so could result in substantial losses, and potential wage disputes with employees. To see if your company is following all labor-mandated rules and regulations, contact our experienced wage attorneys.

Oftentimes, employers would not want to spend months in trial, and so labor disputes end in settlement offers. To better determine if you have a valid wage dispute claim against your employer for unpaid wages, contact our experienced attorneys at Heidari Law Group today. We have attorneys in major cities, such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Fresno, and Irvine. If you or a loved one have been denied compensation for hours worked, you may be eligible for compensation to recover damages owed to you. If you believe you have been cheated out of getting your hard-earned money, our labor dispute attorneys may be able to get back pay, along with liquidated damages for your unpaid hours.

Is your employer not paying you minimum wage for your pay? Call our office at 1 (833) 224 5454 to schedule a free consultation.

***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.



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Sam Heidari

Sam Ryan Heidari

Sam Heidari is the founding principal of Heidari Law Group, a law firm specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, and employment law with offices in California and Nevada. Sam Heidari has been practicing law for over 11 years and handles a wide range of cases including car accidents, wrongful death, employment discrimination, and product liability. The Heidari Law Group legal firm is known for its comprehensive approach, handling cases from initial consultation through to final judgment. Sam Heidari is dedicated to community involvement and advocacy for civil liberties.

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