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Arlington Wage and Hour Lawyer

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A wage and hour claim might result from an employer failing to pay an employee all the money that employee is entitled to. The primary federal law that protects workers’ wages is the Fair Labor Standards Act, as it affords them the right to earn a standardized minimum wage as well as overtime pay. Typically, either an employer fails to pay minimum wage for all the hours that their employee works, or they fail to pay the overtime rate for the extra hours that their employee works in a given week.

If these circumstances apply to you, consider retaining a qualified employment attorney from Spiggle Law to help you navigate the complexities of litigation. An Arlington wage and hour lawyer could help you examine relevant laws and build a defense accordingly, so do not hesitate to call today to get started.

The FLSA

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that applies to employers who have annual sales of $500,000 or more or who are engaged in interstate commerce, which covers most employers in the United States and in Virginia. Most of the laws that govern the employer-employee relationship involve protecting an employee from being discriminated or retaliated against as well as from being unpaid or underpaid. There are other laws that may apply in certain circumstances — such as federal employees receiving special protections, for example — but most Arlington workers may rely on the FLSA for wage rights.

Since all employees are not protected by the FLSA, it is important for someone facing paycheck discrepancies to consult with a lawyer who has experience with these types of cases. Some types of workers — like those earning salaries, for example — are exempt from FLSA protections. Fortunately, an Arlington wage and hour attorney can help you determine whether your employer is violating the law in addition to your exemption status.

Misclassifying Workers

Under the Virginia Minimum Wage Act as well as the FLSA, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Misclassification involves a business owner assuming an employee’s exemption status and incorrectly paying them based on that assumption. For example, some employees could be misclassified as independent contractors when they are actually full-time workers. Independent contractors are not protected under the FLSA, so those who are incorrectly classified as such could lose out on their earned wages. Whether an employee is exempt from the FLSA can be a genuinely confusing issue. There are multiple exemptions in the law, each of which involves an analysis of several factors to determine.

Unpaid overtime is another common wage problem that can arise from misclassification. If an employer classifies a worker as exempt and does not pay them the overtime rate, that could be a violation of the law if the employee is not actually exempt from the FLSA. An employee who works 45 hours in a week but only gets paid for 40 hours could pursue a claim for working above 40 hours without receiving increased pay.

Breaks and Paid Time Off

The FLSA does not require a business to provide meal breaks during the workday. Sometimes, employees are not credited with all the work that they do during a day. For example, an employer may count a 30-minute break for lunch when their worker did not actually take one or it was interrupted by customers.

The FLSA also does not mandate employers to offer vacation or personal time, and negotiations about paid time off should take place on an individual basis between business owners and their employees. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take time off for things such as pregnancy or serious illnesses.

A worker who has accrued unused vacation time or other paid leave may be entitled to a payout of that time when they leave their job. However, this would be a matter of breach of contract for Virginia employees because the FLSA does not require employers to pay out unused vacation time. A dedicated wage and hour lawyer in Arlington could help you file a claim against your employer and build a case based on these laws.

Call an Arlington Wage and Hour Attorney

It is important for you to know whether you are exempt from the FLSA’s wage protections, as it is likely the primary law protecting your right to minimum wage and overtime pay. A seasoned attorney at the Spiggle Law firm could help you determine your exemption status and evaluate your employer’s actions. Contact an Arlington wage and hour lawyer to schedule a free consultation today. Also, click here to see how much your case is worth.