Virginia Wage Theft Lawyer
Wage theft—the practice of employers unfairly compensating their employees—is a serious offense, and unfortunately a common one as well. Employers in Virginia are obligated to follow certain rules mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act, and violations are treated seriously.
If you have a wage dispute with an employer, contact a Virginia wage theft lawyer as soon as possible so that you can get started in the fight to recover what is legally yours. Our attorneys are experienced and available to assist you.
What is Wage Theft?
Failure to pay proper wages can take many forms. While the most obvious and egregious is the complete failure to pay for work, many other forms of the crime exist.
Failure to pay overtime is wage theft, as is illegally deducting workers’ pay or forcing employees to perform work off-the-clock. Other ways that employees commit wage theft include paying workers below the minimum wage and misclassifying workers as being exempt from FLSA guidelines.
In addition, tipped workers, such as restaurant servers, must be paid at least the state’s minimum wage once tips are added to their compensation. Failure by an employer to do so can be considered wage theft and should be addressed with the help of a Virginia wage theft lawyer.
Most studies show that low wage workers and undocumented immigrants are particularly susceptible to wage theft. However, it is a widespread problem that can have an impact on the lives of many. In 2014, the Economic Policy Institute estimated that wage theft costs American workers billions of dollars of earned income each year.
Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees
One of the ways that wage theft often occurs is by an employer mislabeling a non-exempt employee as exempt. These are the two categories of employee defined by the FLSA, with exempt employees being excluded from the protections of those laws. For example, exempt employees are not eligible for overtime and cannot bring a claim against an employer for failure to pay overtime.
To tell whether you are an exempt employee, three questions must be answered with the help of a Virginia wage theft attorney:
- Do you make more than $47,476 per year?
- Do you get paid a salary rather than an hourly wage?
- Do you perform high-level functions at work, such as those of an executive or administrative office?
If all these questions can be answered affirmatively, then you are almost certainly an exempt employee. However, there are some exceptions—for example, schoolteachers and physicians can be considered exempt employees even when their jobs pay per hour instead of salary. Similarly, airline employees and out-of-office salespeople are considered exempt by definition.
That said, the majority of workers in Virginia are considered non-exempt, and therefore the FLSA rules apply to them. As such, they must be properly compensated according to those guidelines.
How Could a Virginia Wage Theft Attorney Help?
A Virginia wage theft lawyer who is experienced in these cases could help you figure out whether your job is considered exempt from FLSA guidelines. They also could fight for your rights and proper compensation on your behalf. Expertise and experience navigating the legal sphere often can be an invaluable tool for achieving an optimal outcome in wage theft cases in Virginia.
If you did not receive proper compensation for your work, were illegally denied overtime pay, or feel you were misclassified by an employer, you may be a victim of wage theft. Contact an experienced Virginia wage theft lawyer at the Spiggle Law Firm as soon as possible to begin pursuing the benefits and compensation you have rightfully earned through your labor.