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When employers do not pay you the minimum wage or overtime pay you are entitled to receive, it can be not only frustrating but financially devastating as well. This is especially true when a simple conversation with your employer fails to yield successful results. In a situation like this, it may be necessary to file a wage claim or lawsuit. A professional Mississippi wage and hour lawyer could work to represent you in court so that you receive every cent of the money you have earned. Read on to learn more about how a qualified employment lawyer could offer you their assistance today.
State and federal laws are in place nationwide to enforce minimum wage requirements. Every state is required to at least adhere to the minimum hourly wage established under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. Although individual states can adopt a state minimum wage greater than the $7.25 minimum wage mandated by federal law, they may not establish a wage that pays workers less than this amount. Mississippi does not have separate state laws regarding their minimum wage, so they follow the guidelines in the FLSA. Certain employees may be exempt from the minimum wage requirements in Mississippi, such as:
Failure to pay an employee the correct minimum wage can qualify as a case of wage theft. If an employee is not exempt from the federal minimum wage requirement and is being paid less than $7.25 per hour, a skilled Mississippi wage and hour lawyer may be able to fight for their deserved payment.
Along with minimum wage, the FLSA also establishes overtime pay eligibility for Mississippi employees. Any non-exempt employee who works more than 40 hours per week is eligible for overtime pay at a minimum rate of one and a half times their regular pay. Overtime is determined by the number of hours worked per week, and is not necessarily dependent on hours worked during holidays or weekends. Working on a holiday or weekend without meeting the requisite 40-hour threshold will not in and of itself establish eligibility for overtime.
Seasonal employees, temporary employees, and independent contractors may not be eligible for overtime pay. However, some workers are misclassified as an employee exempt from overtime pay, or their time records are falsified to avoid paying them overtime. Failure to give employees overtime pay due to misclassification—both accidental and deliberate—is a violation of federal labor law. Employees who are unsure of their classification status or ability to collect overtime may seek help from a Mississippi wage and hour lawyer who can review their employment situation and provide them with some insight and clarification.
Violating labor laws is a serious offense. If you and your employer are unable to reach an agreement regarding your rightful pay, it may become necessary to initiate legal action. If you are not being paid fair wages for your hours, there is a chance that your co-workers are dealing with the same maltreatment by your employer. If you work for a large company and there are multiple instances of wrongdoing, there may be grounds for a class-action lawsuit. If you are working in Mississippi and have questions about your hours or wages, call a dedicated Mississippi wage and hour lawyer today to schedule a consultation. All employees should be treated fairly and paid legally in the workplace, and a determined Mississippi wage and hour lawyer could work toward this result.