Leesburg Wage Theft Lawyer
Are you concerned about whether your employer is paying you properly? If so, you may be the victim of wage theft or the illegal nonpayment or underpayment of wages. One national study from the Economic Policy Institute has found that wage theft costs workers billions of dollars each year and affects all types of employees. A person who suspects that an employer has unfairly compensated them should speak with a skilled Leesburg wage theft lawyer. Our knowledgeable employment attorneys at the Spiggle Law Firm could review your case and work to fight for fair payment. Call and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Potential Wage Theft Scenarios
There are numerous ways that unscrupulous employers can break federal or state laws, including:
- Not paying for all hours worked or not paying at all
- Requiring “off the clock” work
- Paying with checks that bounce
- Failure to pay overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week
- Paying less than minimum wage
- Taking tips or improper tip-pooling
- Misclassifying employees as independent contractors
- Punitive docking of pay
Fortunately, there are even more ways an employment attorney could help a person seek justice for such actions. Someone who has experienced any of these practices may want to consider getting help from a qualified Leesburg wage theft lawyer. We could work to hold an employer responsible for wrongful employment practices.
Leesburg Wage Laws
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires that all covered employers pay an hourly wage of at least $7.25. The Virginia Minimum Wage Act sets the same minimum wage for some employers that are too small for federal coverage. In addition, the Virginia Payment of Wage Law sets standards for how employers pay wages and prohibits deductions from pay shortages, errors, damages, and the like.
Employees covered by the FLSA must also receive overtime pay any time they work over 40 hours in a single workweek. Overtime pay must be at least one and one-half times your regular rate of pay. For hourly workers, this is just their hourly wage, but the calculation can be more complex if you receive tips or your pay is based on a salary, commissions, or piecework. Regardless, employers must pay all overtime hours worked at the appropriate rate, even if it requires prior approval of overtime or has a rule against working overtime.
There are many other ways that employers can “nickel and dime” employees.
For example, employers that deduct break time from wages may be breaking the law. Short rest breaks or meal breaks during which employees must remain engaged in work are compensable, as is the time it takes to put on and remove necessary specialized safety equipment. Likewise, an employer that requires wait staff to share their tips with management, cooks, or others who do not receive their own tips may be wrongly depriving the tipped employees of a significant part of their pay.
Independent Contractor Misclassification
Independent contractor misclassification can be another form of wage theft when employers use it as a way to skirt paying overtime and minimum wage or other legal requirements. Misclassified employees can also be liable for self-employment taxes and lose access to workers’ compensation and other important protections.
Unless you already have an independent business, you should be wary of independent contractor arrangements. A Leesburg wage theft attorney could advise about the particulars that may apply in a given situation.
What to Do About Wage Theft
Federal law gives employees the right to go to court or file a claim—with or without assistance from a wage theft lawyer in Leesburg—with the U.S. Department of Labor to recover for overtime and minimum wage violations. You may be able to collect double damages against an employer for willful violations of the FLSA.
Even if the violation was due to a mistake or misunderstanding, you could seek compensation for economic losses, court costs, and attorney’s fees. In addition, you can also present certain claims for unpaid wages—but not overtime claim—to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
Get Help from a Leesburg Wage Theft Attorney
It can be financially and emotionally devastating to work hard for an employer only to have them fail to pay you what they legally owe. On top of this, the applicable laws and standards can be confusing. Many employees do not know what to do next when dealing with wage theft.
Getting help from a legal professional with a strong understanding of workplace issues could be an important part of recovering for wage theft. A skilled Leesburg wage theft lawyer could investigate your case, identify laws your employer may have broken, and suggest ways to go about recovering your lost wages or other damages.
At the Spiggle Law Firm, we work hard to advocate for individuals like you. Call today for more information, or click here to use our no-cost online case review tool.