Tysons Corner Wage and Hour Lawyer
At the Spiggle Law Firm, we often work with clients whose employers have violated wage and hour laws by denying overtime compensation, paying less than minimum wage, misclassifying employees as exempt from wage and hour laws, falsifying time cards, or refusing to pay for work performed “off the clock.”
Understanding your rights under wage and hour laws may be the best way to make sure those rights are protected. If you suspect that you are not being compensated in accordance with the law, a Tysons Corner wage and hour lawyer could help you determine whether any illegal activity is taking place.
Tysons Corner Minimum Wage
Minimum wage in Tysons Corner is $7.25 per hour, which is the same as the federal minimum wage established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines. If a state enacts its own law establishing a higher minimum wage than the applicable federal rate, employees are entitled to receive whichever amount is greater. Since Virginia has not done this, the federal minimum applies in Tysons Corner.
Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees
Many Tysons Corner employees in the service industry rely on tips as their primary income source. Minimum wage laws apply differently to tipped employees than other hourly workers. Pursuant to the FLSA, tipped employees are entitled to a wage of $2.13 per hour, not including tips.
However, a tipped employee should never be earning less than $7.25 per hour. If your tips combined with the required base wage do not meet the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, your employer must make up the difference. Many service industry employers are resistant to making this extra payment, especially if it means increasing labor costs on an already slow day.
Unpaid Overtime Compensation
Pursuant to FLSA regulations, most employees are entitled are entitled to overtime compensation at a rate of one and a half times their normal pay rate if they work more than 40 hours in a work week.
If you suspect you are being denied overtime pay, you should not just take your employer’s word that you are not entitled to receive overtime. This is not a determination that your employer can make alone; rather, it is one that is always based on your job duties.
Compensation for Break Time
The FLSA does not actually impose a requirement on employers to provide employees with meal or other breaks, so this issue is typically addressed by state law. Under Virginia law, employers are not required to give breaks to employees over the age of 16.
If an employer does allow break periods but you work through the given break, you should be compensated for this time. Short breaks lasting only about 5 to 20 minutes should also be compensated under federal law.
Classification as an Exempt or Non-Exempt Employee
The FLSA does not apply to all workers in Tysons County, as certain categories of workers are specifically exempt from the protections of this law. For that reason, it may be important to ensure that your employer has not misclassified your position.
Misclassifying an employee as an exempt independent contractor or salaried employee could save the employer a significant amount of money, because they are not obligated to follow minimum wage or overtime laws with respect to compensating those workers. Exempt employees may also miss out on other benefits such as workers’ compensation.
Employer Retaliation Following a Wage and Hour Claim
As a Tysons Corner employee, you have the right to file a wage and hour claim against your employer. By the same token, your employer does not have the right to fire or punish you for properly exercising this right.
Although Tysons Corner is an employment at-will jurisdiction, employers may not legally fire employees for taking permissible legal action. If an employer retaliates against an employee under such circumstances, they may face liability for retaliation in addition to liability for wage and hour violations.
Talk to a Tysons Corner Wage and Hour Attorney Today
If you believe that your employer failed to properly pay you for your hours or has misclassified your employment status in a way that impacts the wages you are entitled to receive, let the Spiggle Law Firm know. A Tysons Corner wage and hour lawyer from our firm could be committed to helping you pursue and receive the compensation you have earned.