What Are Wage and Hour Claims?

Discrimination and harassment lawsuits used to be the most common types of employment lawsuits. Recently, however, the most common type of lawsuits filed against employers are wage and hour claims. Thus, it is essential to understand your rights and responsibilities under wage and hour laws.

What Are Wage and Hour Laws?

Minimum wages and overtime pay are governed by state and federal wage and hour laws. The most significant wage and hour laws are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA covers three important wage and hour issues:

  • Minimum wage: The standards for minimum wage are set by the FLSA. 
  • Overtime pay: The standards about who and when can receive minimum wage are set by the FLSA.
  • Child labor protection: There are some provisions protect children from child labor in the FLSA.

Employers must comply with the FLSA as well as keep accurate records about hours employees have worked, employee wages and other details related to the business. If an employer does not comply with these standards, there can be legal consequences such as wage and hour claims (or lawsuits) under the FLSA. 

Employers are also required to comply with state wage and hour laws. For some employers, this means they will have to pay their employees a higher minimum wage than what is required under federal laws. 

What Are Wage and Hour Claims?

Wage and hour claims arise when there is a dispute over the amount of wages an employer owes to an employee, or there is a dispute over the number of hours an employee has worked. 

Common issues involved in wage and hour claims are:

  • Minimum wage: The employer did not pay the minimum wages required under state and federal law.
  • Exemptions: There are specific categories of employees who are exempt from overtime pay.
  • Job title vs. actual duties performed: The FSLA provisions are based on the actual duties that the employee performs at work, not their job descriptions.
  • Wage withholding: This is when the employer illegally withholds an employee’s wages.

Proving that one of these situations has occurred can require a lot of documentation and can be complicated, so it’s always a good idea to contact a reputable lawyer.

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