Options Available to Resolve Issues Around Unpaid Wages
There are several steps you can take if you believe you are not properly compensated for every hour worked.
- The Employee Handbook could address wages and provide guidance on what to do if you think you are not paid properly.
- You can also contact the Human Resources Department or a supervisor to discuss your pay-related problems.
If discussion within your company is ineffective, or you prefer another route, the U.S. Department of Labor is the government agency tasked with making sure companies comply with federal wage laws. You can make a formal complaint with that agency. This agency does not investigate every complaint, and investigations can take time.
Consulting a Hunstville employment lawyer about your pay issue is another option and can result in faster answers to your questions.
Ways Employees Are Not Properly Compensated
- Employers sometimes pay less than the required minimum wage. All employers are required to pay employees the current federally mandated minimum wage – currently $7.25 per hour, for every hour worked in a week. Some states have set higher minimum wages.
There are some exemptions to the minimum wage requirement, but they are few. You can check with the Department of Labor or consult an employment attorney if your company is not paying you minimum wage for every hour worked.
- Employers require employees to report fewer hours than they actually work in a week, or they delete hours worked to lessen overtime compensation. Employers are required to keep accurate records of all of the hours employees work. If an employee is told not to accurately report all hours worked, or the company is reducing the hours they report, they should check with the Department of Labor or an employment law attorney.
- Employers incorrectly classify employees and pay them a straight salary no matter how many hours worked in a week, when the employee should be paid by the hour and receive overtime compensation for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek . The general rule is that all employees should be paid minimum wage and overtime compensation. There are exemptions to these provisions, and an employee’s job duties must meet the specific requirements of an exemption to allow employers to avoid paying overtime compensation.
Under the current regulations, all employees making less than $455 per week under most circumstances must be paid overtime compensation and minimum wage. The primary exemptions are for executive, administrative, and professional employees making more than $455 per week. An employee must be doing the jobs to qualify for an exemption before he/she can be paid a straight salary for all hours worked and no overtime compensation or less than minimum wage.
Our Experience Recovering Unpaid Wages
Our attorneys have handled many unpaid wages claims, including recovering overtime compensation for employees who were paid a salary when they should have been paid by the hour, obtaining pay for employees whose hours were reduced by the company to avoid paying overtime compensation, and assisting employees when their employer requires them to record fewer hours than he/she actually worked.
We have also assisted employers to make sure that the company is paying its employees correctly.
If employees are owed money under the law, the claims can often be resolved quickly with the right legal assistance.