Prince George’s County Wage Theft Lawyer
If your employer is not paying you everything they owe or refuses to pay you at all, you may want to get legal advice from a Prince George’s County wage theft lawyer.
Wage theft refers to the illegal underpayment or nonpayment of wages. These violations are unacceptable. If you believe you are a victim of wage theft, consider consulting a compassionate employment attorney at The Spiggle Law Firm. Our lawyers could help you dispute your wage discrepancies and explain your rights under the law.
What is Considered Wage Theft?
Besides any illegal underpayment or nonpayment of wages, wage theft also may include many different types of violations, including:
- Failure to pay overtime
- Refusal to pay for all work performed
- “Off the clock” work
- Paying less than minimum wage
- Independent contractor misclassification
- Improper tip-pooling
- Illegal docking of pay
Federal Laws for Prince George’s County Employers
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that governs minimum wage and overtime pay. FLSA sets a nationwide minimum wage of $7.25 for covered employees. Fortunately, most employees in Prince George’s County benefit from a higher minimum wage of $11.50 per hour. If your employer is subject to federal wage laws and fails to pay minimum wage, you may be able to sue for double damages.
FLSA also requires employers to pay covered employees overtime pay for any time they work over 40 hours in a single workweek. Overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay. Non-exempt salaried or supervisory employees and workers who receive tips or commissions are also entitled to overtime pay. Also, employers cannot force workers to give up any of these rights by paying them fixed rates or cash “under the table.”
Protections for Tipped Employees
Although employers can legally pay a low base wage to tipped employees, they still must make sure that those employees receive at least minimum wage after accounting for tips. For any hours that wages plus tips do not equal the applicable minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Any employer that does not do this may be violating minimum wage laws.
Tipped employees in Prince George’s County are susceptible to wage theft when management takes or improperly pools tips. For example, when an employer requires wait staff to share their tips with managers or others who do not regularly receive their own tips, they may be wrongly depriving the tipped employees of a significant part of their pay.
Independent Contractor Misclassification
Beware that workers who are wrongly classified as independent contractors are particularly susceptible to wage theft. Often, employers misclassify employees in an effort to cut costs by not paying overtime and minimum wage and to skirt tax withholding, workers compensation, and other legal requirements.
Federal and state laws limit the situations in which employers can treat workers as independent contractors. Additionally, Maryland law presumes that anyone being paid for work is an employee unless specific conditions for independent contractor status are met.
Remedying any of these forms of wage theft requires knowledge of the many applicable laws and a competent employment Prince George’s wage theft lawyer could advise about applicable legal rights and remedies.
How a Prince George’s County Wage Theft Attorney Can Help
If you believe your employer is wrongly taking part of your pay, getting help from a Prince George’s County wage theft lawyer could be important to understanding your rights. A capable lawyer could learn about you and your concerns, identify laws the employer may have violated, and begin taking steps to help you recover your lost wages or other compensation.
Whether you are a federal or a private employee, call today to set up an initial meeting with our team at The Spiggle Law Firm. If you are a federal or private employee and are interested in getting a free online review of your situation, click here.