Wage and Hour Attorneys
When an employer refuses to provide proper compensation for the work their employees do, this is a violation of state and federal law. If you or a loved one have faced these kinds of violations at work, the experienced team of wage and hour attorneys at Heidari Law Group can help you get the compensation you deserve.
State and federal laws require that employees are paid a fair wage by their employers in a timely manner. For all employees who are not exempt, wage & hour laws grant them the right: to be paid overtime, to be paid at least minimum wage, and to be given a certain amount of time for rest and meal breaks throughout the workday. When an employer fails to uphold these rights for their employees, they are not only acting unethically but also unlawfully.
By unlawfully cutting corners to save money, employers can put the financial stability of their employees at risk, but there are resources available for employees who are being taken advantage of in this way. Filing a civil lawsuit to recover compensation for the illegal actions taken by an employer is one way an employee can get some level of justice for the wrongdoings they’ve suffered through.
Determining if an Employee is Exempt or Nonexempt
For an employee to be considered exempt from the minimum wage and overtime pay laws provided by the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA), they must meet certain requirements determined by the Department of Labor for the type of work they do.
Executive Employee Exemption
Requirements for executive employees to be classified as exempt:
- An executive employee must be paid on a salary basis at a rate of no less than $684/week.
- The employee must regularly direct the work or manage at least two or more other full-time employees or equivalent
- The employee’s primary role has to be managing the company, department, or subdivision
- The employee must have the ability to weigh in on hiring or firings or have the authority to do it themselves
Executive employees who can meet all four of these requirements may be able to classify as exempt.
Administrative Employee Exemption
Three requirements for administrative employees to be legally qualified as exempt:
- The employee’s primary duty at the company must be related to management, office performance, or non-manual labor directly related to the general operations of the business.
- The administrative employee must be paid a minimum of $684/week and be on a salary basis.
- The employee’s primary role must include the responsibilities of discretion and independent judgment.
If all of these requirements are met, not just one or two of them, then an administrative employee can be classified as exempt.
Professional Employee Exemption
For professional employees to qualify for exempt classification, they must meet all of the following requirements:
- The employee’s primary role at the company must involve job performance that requires advanced knowledge which is defined as work that is mainly intellectual in nature and requires a consistent exercising of judgment and discretion.
- They must be paid on a salary basis at a rate of no less than $684/week.
- The employee’s advanced knowledge must be in a field of learning or science
- The employee’s advanced knowledge must have been acquired through specialized, intellectual instruction.
Computer Employee Exemption
For a computer employee to be eligible to be classified as exempt, they must:
- Be paid a minimum of $684/week on a salary basis, or be paid on an hourly basis at no less than $27.63/hour.
- The employee’s primary job title must be listed as computer programmer, computer systems analyst, software engineer, or another similarly skilled professional in the field of computers.
- The employee’s primary function at the company must include design, development, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of a computer system, program, operating system.
Outside Sales Employee Exemption
For an outside sales employee to qualify for exemption, they must meet all of the following requirements:
- The employee’s main duties at the company must involve: the making of sales, obtaining of contracts or orders for services or to use the facilities which the client will pay for.
- The employee must also be regularly engaged in work outside of the employer’s main place of business.
Common Wage & Hour Violations
Whether it’s out of greed or just plain ignorance, many employers in America violate these wage & hour laws every day. Below are some of the most common violations that occur across various industries in this country:
- Misclassifying an employee as exempt when they are not. This type of misclassification denies an employee the rights they are owed as non-exempt employees such as overtime, minimum wage, and rest or meal break requirements.
- Failing to pay the time-and-a-half rate for overtime when earned. All non-exempt employees are entitled to the overtime pay rate for every hour they work over 8 in a single day or over 40 in a single workweek. When employees are paid their standard pay or not at all for overtime hours worked, this is a serious violation of the wage & hour laws which an employee can file suit over.
- Misclassifying an independent contractor as an employee or vice versa. An employee must “plainly and unmistakably” fit into the exempt category. In cases where there is any doubt as to whether an employee is exempt or not, the law generally requires a nonexempt classification of the employee.
- Not providing employees with the bonuses they were promised or the commission they earned. Commission is defined as the wage that an employee is entitled to due to the sales they’ve secured. In some states such as California, only commissioned employees who meet the three requirements for exemption are exempt from the state’s overtime pay laws.
- Failing to provide employees with compensation for work-related expenses. If an employee
- Failing to provide employees with the meal or rest breaks they are required to be given by law, requiring employees to work through those breaks, or not paying them for working through those breaks. According to the department of labor, federal law does not require employers to provide employees with coffee or lunch breaks throughout the day. However, state laws in most of the country do require that these breaks be allowed.
- Not paying employees the applicable prevailing wage or minimum wage applicable by law. For all employees who do not fall under the subminimum wage categories, which includes student-learners and students working full-time in higher education, agriculture, retail, or in the service industry, employers are required to provide pay that is adequate with state and federal minimum wage laws. Even if an employee falls under one of these subminimum wage categories, an employer must get a certificate from the Wage and Hour Division before they can hire someone at subminimum wage.
- Failing to pay an employee for all time they spent on the job. For nonexempt employees, if it takes a lab worker 10 minutes to prepare equipment for their shift before it starts, this is time that an employee must be compensated for by law. Training time, travel time, waiting and on-call time all qualify for compensation as well.
Get Compensation for Wage & Hour Violations Today
If you believe you or your family have been victims of employment law violations, then contact an experienced wage & hour lawyer at Heidari Law Group today for a free case evaluation. You don’t have to face your employer alone. Get the help you deserve from a firm you can trust. Contact us today at 1-833-225-5454 or email us at [email protected].