Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Claims

When an employer fails to properly pay an employee for their services, a federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is often violated.  This type of law is referred to as “wage and hour” and includes issues involving non-payment of wages, overtime pay, minimum wage, unpaid commissions, vacation pay, and off-the-clock violations.  Individual states and some local governments also have laws which could apply to these types of violations.

One of the most common types of wage and hour claims is the failure to pay overtime.  While exceptions do exist, an employee is generally entitled to overtime pay of at least time and a half of the employee’s normal pay when the employee works more than 40 hours in a week.

Off-the-clock violations are also common.  Under federal law, it is unlawful for employers to permit their employees to work without pay.  The FLSA is clear that employees must be paid for all hours that they have worked.  This includes any time that the employee is performing work or must be on the employer’s premises.  Examples include staying after a shift to clean up, working through breaks, or doing paperwork for the employer at home.

Employees should be aware that it is not uncommon for an employer to misclassify an employee in an effort to avoid the requirements of the FLSA and similar state laws.  The FLSA exempts some types of positions, including administrative, professional, commissioned sales employees, drivers, farmworkers, and executive positions.  If an employer intentionally misclassifies an employee’s position to avoid the FLSA, it could be held liable for damages.  In many cases, the employer will try to misclassify an employee as an independent contractor, thereby depriving the employee of overtime, medical leave, and unemployment benefits.

If a court finds that an employer violated the FLSA, the employee could be entitled to what are called “liquidated damages.”  Liquidated damages are calculated by doubling the amount of unpaid back wages (the amount of money the employer failed to pay).  As an example, if the employer failed to pay an employee $25,000 in minimum wage and overtime, an employee could receive an additional $25,000 as liquidated damages for a total of $50,000 in damages.

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If you need an experienced and successful trial attorney to help you protect your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act, contact our firm and discuss your case with one of our lawyers in complete confidence.

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