In this two-part article, wage dispute lawyers in Tampa are discussing wage and hour laws and potential violations. In the first part, we discussed how employees may be misclassified as interns, independent contractors, or even managers. We also discussed how employers wrongfully withhold payment or force employees to pay for their own work-related expenses. If you are an employee of a company that performs any of these actions, you may be owed additional compensation. If you are an employer, you need to be mindful of these laws to avoid coming into conflict with labor laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
4) Violating Minimum Wage Laws
Although there are many ongoing debates around the country in regard to what the federal minimum wage should be, the current total is $7.25 an hour. For many states, their local minimum wage is the prevailing amount. For example, the current minimum wage in Florida is $8.46. Since this is higher than the federal amount, it supersedes the $7.25 an hour minimum wage established in the FLSA.
Employers must be mindful that they pay their employees the minimum wage they are legally obligated to. They need to make certain they compensate them for every hour that they work. Even if an employee is willing to work for less than the minimum wage, it’s against the law for an employer to allow this.
5) Working Off-the-Clock or Requiring Workers to Skip Breaks
Many workers are surprised to learn that few federal laws or restrictions for adult workers regarding break times exist. Although an employer can require workers to eat lunch at their desk, this time is considered as time “on the clock.” For example, if an employee is required to answer the office phone while eating at their desk during their “lunch time,” because they are performing work tasks, this time is considered part of their work day. Employers that require their employees to clean up their work station or arrive to work a little early to be prepared to start the day at their “shift time” should also be including this time as part of the employee’s compensable work schedule.
6) Secret Cash Payments
Although many workers covet being paid “under the table” because they perceive this compensation as tax free, in reality, this work could be illegal. Although it may appear to be a great deal for employers and employees alike because they can avoid paying taxes, these types of arrangements often lead to workers making less than minimum wage or engaging in other wage and hour infractions. All workers should be compensated for every hour they work. It’s the employer’s responsibility to keep accurate timesheets of hours worked.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.