Wage and Hour Claims
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires that all employers pay non-exempt employees at least the current minimum wage and 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in a week in excess of 40. Generally, certain types of salaried or commissioned employees, independent contractors and managers are exempt from FLSA payment requirements. However, employers often incorrectly characterize an employee as an independent contractor even though the nature of the employee’s job renders him or her an “employee” for purposes of the FLSA. The Department of Labor has established various factors for determining whether one is in fact an independent contractor or an employee. Requiring an employee to sign an agreement that states that he or she is an independent contractor is not controlling.
In addition to improperly characterizing employees as independent contractors, many employers avoid the overtime and/or minimum-wage requirements of the FLSA in a number of other ways, such as:
- Requiring workers to perform mandatory tasks off the clock.
- Not compensating employees for certain preparatory and concluding work, such as attending mandatory training classes, preparing a business prior to opening each day or other ancillary activities that are an integral and indispensable part of the employee’s principal activities.
- Not accurately recording the number of hours worked.
- Paying an employee his or her regular rate for hours in excess of 40.
If determined to have violated the FLSA, an employer can be liable for any amounts actually owed, additional damages, attorneys fees and costs. Furthermore, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who assert FLSA claims. The attorneys at Tolar Harrigan & Morris LLC have experience representing both employers and employees in FLSA claims. If you are an employer who may be, or has been accused of, violating the FLSA, or an employee who believes that you are entitled to unpaid wages under the FLSA, please call the attorneys at Tolar Harrigan & Morris LLC at (504) 571-5317.