Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage laws establish minimum wage, overtime pay, and record keeping requirements for employers and their employees. Unfortunately, many employers unlawfully skirt around the FLSA’s employee protections. Most prominently, this manifests itself in overtime pay. Eligible employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are entitled to receive a higher rate of pay (a minimum of 50% higher than their normal pay rate) for every hour above the 40th. Employers often use a variety of tricks to withhold earned overtime pay from eligible employees.
Common Wage and Hour Law Violations
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) some employees are “exempt” from receiving overtime pay, meaning they are not entitled to it. While some employees are rightfully considered “exempt” from overtime pay requirements, employers often wrongly misclassify employees as “exempt” in order to avoid paying overtime wages. Neither all salaried employees nor all employees with the title of “manager” or “supervisor” are automatically exempt from overtime pay requirements. Employers also claim employees are “independent contractors” instead of company employees to try to avoid paying overtime pay to those who are rightfully owed these wages.
Unpaid “Off the Clock” Work
In many jobs, employees have tasks that must be performed before they can begin or finish their job. Some employers try to avoid paying wages for this time, claiming it is “off the clock,” which is illegal. When employers don’t pay employees for all of their time spent working for the employers’ benefit, regardless of whether the work is done before, during, or after shift, they are in violation of federal and state employment law and likely owe back pay.
When bartenders, busboys, and waiters/waitresses pool their tips together and later divide them up equally among tipped workers, this constitutes tip pooling. Employers violate the law when they allow non-tipped employees to share in the pooled tips, causing tipped workers’ pay to fall below minimum wage.
Texas FLSA Wage and Hour Lawyers
The government takes overtime violations and worker rights very seriously. Employers who are found in violation of the FLSA can be forced to pay their employees what they are owed, plus additional damages. On top of that, they are forbidden from retaliating against workers who bring these violations to light. Contact us today if you think you were underpaid by your employer.