Knoxville Wage and Hour Attorneys
Wage and hours laws dictate how workers are compensated for their time at work. When it comes to minimum wage and overtime hours, federal law provides regulations for employers to follow. Even though almost all employers are subject to federal wage and hours laws, not all of them abide by the law.
There are several common violations employers are guilty of which lead to employees not being paid all monies to which they are entitled. When an employer keeps this money it is commonly known as “wage theft,” and the wages are the worker’s money by law.
If you are a worker in Knoxville who believes your employer may be improperly withholding wages to which you are entitled, an employment lawyer at Employment and Commerce Law Group could help you with your wage and hour issues. Call today to set up a consultation with one of our experienced Knoxville employment attorneys.
Common Wage and Hour Violations
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), wage and hour employees in Knoxville are entitled to receive at least minimum wage for all time at work, and except for certain exemptions, they are entitled to receive 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for overtime work. There are many ways in which employers fail to compensate employees under the FLSA, some common ways this happens are:
- Requiring employees to work off-the-clock
- Not paying employees for time spent getting ready to perform their job (logging into computer systems, going through lengthy screening, etc.)
- Misclassifying salaried employees as exempt from receiving overtime
- Automatic deductions for breaks or lunches employees do not actually take
- Calling employees “independent contractors” when they are in fact employees as defined by the FLSA.
- Improperly pooling tips
- Many other ways which result in employees not receiving pay for all the time they work or failure to pay the overtime rate for all hours over 40
A Knoxville wage and theft lawyer can help anyone seeking compensation from their employers for wage and hour violations. We have recovered millions of dollars for employees who have suffered “wage theft”. Please contact us for a free consultation.
Minimum Wage Requirements
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains the laws setting federal minimum wage rates. Federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour for the great majority of workers.
One notable exception to the FLSA minimum wage guidelines is tipped employees. Employers are only required to pay tipped employees $2.13 per hour. However, if an employee’s tips combined with this hourly wage do not reach $7.25 per hour, the employer must make up the difference.
Compensating Knoxville Workers for Unpaid Overtime
Failing to correctly pay employees for overtime hours is a notorious wage and hour violation. Overtime is not optional compensation like a bonus or a raise. The FLSA mandates that employees pay overtime compensation to employees who work more than 40 hours in a work week. Withstanding a few exceptions, you should receive one and a half times your normal pay rate or time and a half for any overtime.
Employers often will tell employees they are not entitled to overtime because they are “salaried” and therefore exempt. This is simply not true. Just because you receive a salary does not mean you are not entitled to overtime.
Whether a salaried employee is entitled to overtime depends on whether they could be classified as “exempt”. The classification of exempt is only allowed for employees with certain job duties who make more than $455 per week every week. Employers often misclassify employees as exempt causing the employees to suffer from “wage theft”.
To decrease operating costs, employers sometimes intentionally misclassify employees as exempt under the FLSA. An employee needs to speak to an experienced overtime lawyer to determine if they are exempt from receiving overtime under the FLSA and other Department of Labor regulations.
Some employees who have recently been found to be misclassified as exempt include:
- Cable TV/Satellite installers Insurance agents
- IT professionals or programmers
- Managers or Assistant Managers
- Account managers
- Independent contractors
- Service Industry Employees
A common misclassification we encounter is independent contractor misclassification. Certain job fields misclassify Knoxville wage and hour employees as independent contractors more than others. These include construction, sales, real estate, home health care, drivers, IT, cable or satellite installers, exotic dancers, persons in the cell phone industry, etc. etc. Every industry has employers who are guilty of misusing the independent contractor classification.
Our Knoxville wage and hour attorneys represent many workers who have been wrongly classified as independent contractors when they should be classified as an employee under the FLSA and entitled to overtime pay. When that happens, you may be able to recover the compensation lost due to the misclassification.
How Can a Knoxville Lawyer Help You with Your Wage and Hour Issues?
Wage and hours violations are not limited to any one job industry. They can impact anyone from medical professionals to corporate employees to factory workers. No one should have to cope with not receiving the compensation they need and deserve.
If you would like to speak with a Knoxville wage and theft lawyer about a potential claim, please reach out to us today to schedule a time to talk.