When you start work each day, you do so expecting to get paid for the work you do for your employer. This isn’t something you should have to fight for, but many employees don’t get the compensation they deserve. It’s estimated that employees lose billions of dollars in America each year due to wage theft, and there are many ways an employer can fail to pay their employees what they deserve. If you suspect that your employer isn’t compensating you properly, it’s essential that you know the different tactics they may use to withhold the pay you should be receiving.
At Brown Kwon & Lam, our wage and hour violation attorneys can help if you’re struggling to be compensated properly at work. Here are four common types of wage and hour violations that employees should watch out for.
1. Paying Below the Minimum Wage
In the United States, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. However, minimum wage for employees in New York City is $15.00 an hour. While employees of all sizes in New York City are now required to pay their employees at least $15.00 an hour, some employers still attempt to pay their employees below the minimum wage.
This can also become more complicated for tipped employees. Many tipped employees are allowed to be paid below the minimum wage if the amount they bring in through tips would allow them to make at least minimum wage. If a tipped employee doesn’t make at least minimum wage with the tips they receive, their employer is required to make up the difference. How much an employer is allowed to pay their employee before tips depends on the industry.
2. Not Paying Overtime
In most cases, you expect to be paid for the extra time you work for your employer. However, who is entitled to receive overtime pay when they work over 40 hours a week varies. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets standards regarding overtime pay and who is covered by this act. While some employees are entitled to receive overtime pay, they may be required to work beyond their 40 hours without being compensated for it. The FLSA also required that employees receive no less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay when they work overtime.
3. Misclassifying Employees
Today, it’s become more common to work as an independent contractor for a company. Being an independent contractor has many benefits for some, but in some cases, independent contractors may be treated more like full-time employees. Employers may hire an independent contractor who they treat like a full-time employee, without providing the benefits that their full-time employees are entitled to. This is misclassification and independent contractors should be cautious of being treated like full-time employees.
4. Failing to Provide Appropriate Breaks
There are several ways an employer may violate their employee’s rights regarding meal and rest times that could result in the employee not being fairly compensated. For example, in New York, if employees are required to sit through a work-related presentation during their lunch period, this could be considered hours worked. While employers are not required to provide a rest period of short duration, if they choose to, this is generally considered as hours worked. Employees need to understand what meal and rest times their employers are required to provide to ensure they’re receiving fair compensation.
Get the Pay You Deserve with Brown Kwon & Lam
You work hard to support yourself and your family, and your employer shouldn’t take advantage of that. However, if you do find yourself being paid less than you deserve, you need someone who can help protect your employee rights. At Brown Kwon & Lam, we have the experience and skills you need to prove that your employer has committed a wage and hour violation to help you get the pay you’re owed.
Contact us today to find out how we can help.