Leesburg Wage and Hour Lawyer
All too often, employers try to cut corners when it comes to paying their workers. Sometimes this takes the form of an employer forcing workers to work off the clock. In other instances, employers misclassify employees as “independent contractors” or as a salaried worker in an effort to skirt the law. Wage and hour violations are a serious problem and anyone who is missing out on part of their paycheck because their employer is not following the law should consider taking action recover for their losses with a Leesburg wage and hour lawyer’s help.
If you have concerns about whether your employer paid you correctly, contact a dedicated employment attorney from the Spiggle Law Firm. We could advise you about your rights and help you understand the options you may have to recover for the illegal treatment you received.
Wage and Hour Laws
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is one of the major laws establishing how employers must pay employees. The FLSA applies to most employers and establishes a national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Additionally, the Virginia Minimum Wage Act sets an equivalent minimum wage for some employers who do not fall under the FLSA’s coverage. There are, however, many exceptions to the state law, so in effect, it covers few employees in the state.
Employees covered by the FLSA must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay. For hourly workers, the regular rate is usually just their hourly wage, but a calculation of the regular rate can be complex for workers who are paid a fixed salary, by a commission, or on a piecework basis.
Although many employers try hard to comply with wage and hour laws, some companies run afoul of what the law requires. Some common overtime-related violations include:
- Failure to pay overtime
- Underpaying tipped employees
- Independent contractor misclassification
- Miscalculation of work hours
- Illegal pay reductions—for example, punitive docking of pay
- Requiring “off the clock” work
- Not paying overtime to non-exempt salaried employees
- Retaliation against employees who complain about wage and hour violations
Many Salaried Employees May Be Owed Overtime Pay
Some employees mistakenly believe that they are exempt and cannot get overtime pay if they are called a “manager” or paid a flat salary instead of an hourly wage. In reality, job titles and how wages are paid do not determine whether an employee is exempt. Rather, the focus is on actual job duties.
Extensive rules and regulations determine whether a particular exemption applies, and an employer cannot determine on its own that an employee is exempt simply by paying them a salary and assigning a job title that makes them sound exempt such as “Assistant Manager” or “Executive Assistant.” An experienced Leesburg wage and hour lawyer could advise you about how these laws and regulations may apply to particular jobs and whether your employer may be liable for wage and hour violations.
Damages and Time Limits in a Wage and Hour Case
Employees concerned about overtime or minimum wage violations have the option of either going straight to court with a lawsuit or filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor. Employees can also pursue certain claims for unpaid wages—but not overtime claims—with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
Employees who prove a violation of FLSA can recover their out-of-pocket economic losses, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs, where applicable. In addition, where there is proof that your employer acted willfully, you may be able to recover an additional amount equal to your actual economic damages as “liquidated damages.” This additional sum is meant to punish and deter employers who intentionally skirt the law.
Time limits for wage and hour cases are an important consideration. You must file any FLSA claim within two years of an alleged violation, except when your employer acted willfully, in which case the time limit is three years. The applicable limitations period usually determines the extent of an employer’s liability even when a violation has been going on for much longer. Our seasoned lawyers could help you file a claim and recover damages if you have been a victim of a wage violation.
Let a Leesburg Wage and Hour Attorney Help
If you believe your current or former employer owes you unpaid wages, professional advice from an employment attorney may help. An experienced Leesburg wage and hour lawyer could identify the wage laws that your employer may have violated, potentially including some violations of which you were not aware.
Your legal counsel could also help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case, assess the damages you may be able to recover and suggest actions you could take to recover your lost wages or other losses. Take advantage of our experience working to help Leesburg employees and get in touch with the Spiggle Law Firm today through our free online case review tool.