The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides the majority of workers certain protections such as the right to make at least minimum wage and to earn overtime pay, typically at a rate of one and one half times a worker's standard rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a week. However, many employers violate these rules, in an effort to save money. As an employee, it is important to understand common areas employers may make errors, it order to ensure you are receiving all the compensation you deserve.
Some of the most common areas where employers make FLSA violations include the following:
1) The failure to provide workers all required meal and rest breaks. For example, employers are required to provide non-exempt workers with 30 min unpaid meal breaks if they work more than 5 hours in a day. Where employees work more than 10 hours, they may be entitled to a second break. Additionally, in most circumstances employers are required to provide paid rest breaks for each four hour block of time worked.
2) Not providing a sufficiently detailed accounting on each employee's pay stub. This includes setting forth a worker's gross and net pay, number of hours worked, dates included in the pay period, the employee's social security number and certain employer information. The failure to have the correct information may constitute a violation of the FLSA.
3) Improperly denying workers overtime compensation they deserve. This may happen when an hourly worker who is "non-exempt" and entitled to overtime pay is classified as "exempt" - a designation that generally applies to "white collar" jobs, and means that workers may not earn overtime pay, regardless of time spent on the job. A more detailed explanation of exemptions may be found here. Additional, employers may violate the FLSA by classifying employees as "independent contractors." In both circumstances, employees may be denied income and benefits they are entitled to.
The Fair Labor Standards Act contains numerous provisions designed to protect all workers, with many of these provisions routinely updated and amended. As a result, if you have any questions concerning your compensation or your rights under the FLSA, it is important to consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable with all of the aspects of this important law. For more information, or to discuss your concerns, please contact the dedicated FLSA attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate, private, case evaluation.