Our Employment Team
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Wage and Hour Claims
For most employees, federal law requires the payment of a time-and-a-half hourly rate for work over 40 hours in a week. It also sets a minimum wage of at least $7.25 an hour. State laws go even further, guaranteeing paid breaks and work-free lunchtimes, as well as higher minimum wages.
Very frequently, workers are misclassified and not paid for their overtime. They work off-the-clock, without being paid, or their company engages in improper pay practices. When that happens, workers are being treated unfairly and illegally. The law provides strong protections for them. This includes substantial penalties against their employer, back pay, overtime, interest, and payment of the worker's attorney's fees, as well as other potential remedies.
The only legal work our firm's Wage & Hour Team does is to bring cases aimed at getting workers paid all the compensation and other benefits to which they are legally entitled. The Team does wage and hour cases, and only wage and hour cases. And they do their work through the investigation and filing of class actions and individual lawsuits in the federal and state courts.
Our Wage & Hour Team can help with all issues related to wage and hour claims. For example:
Many companies cheat their workers by calling them independent contractors when in reality-regardless of how the employer labels them-they are really hourly employees. They are employees who are usually entitled to time-and-a-half overtime pay, to paid breaks and work-free lunch times, to vacations, and sometimes to insurance and other benefits, which can include such valuable coverage such as health coverage, short and long-term disability, life insurance, and pension benefits, among other things.
Many companies wrongly withhold protections to workers by falsely claiming they are not covered because they are supposedly "exempt" from the law. But many of these workers are not exempt, and are being cheated out of wages and other benefits they have earned. For example, workers such as "shift" or "team supervisors" or "assistant managers," or even workers called "managers" who may be on salary, do not have sufficient corporate authority to be exempt from the law. If that is the case then such companies may be treating entire classes of those workers wrongly, and may be liable for up to 3 years of back pay, penalties and other remedies.
Many workers put in more than 40 hours a week and do not get paid for all their time. That is wrong, as well as being illegal. Frequently, workers do not complain because they do not want to call attention to themselves. The law, however, provides strong anti-retaliation protections, and a worker can be benefitted by a class without having their name used as one of the plaintiffs.
Overtime calculations must include more than just the worker's base pay rate. Commissions, bonuses, performance payments and other additional employer payments must be taken into account, and many times are not.
Very frequently workers perform services for their employer while not being punched-in and paid for their time.
- Do you work before or after being clocked-in?
- Work through paid breaks or over your lunch time?
- Have you worked at home or outside the worksite, or in response to emails or texts outside of the paid workday?
- Are you required to change into special protective clothing or equipment without pay?
All of these situations, and more, can result in large claims for off-the-clock work.
Many other pay-related practices are hard for even employees or anyone without training to recognize. For example, does your employer use a rounding system, so that if you clock in a short time after the hour does your timecard round off to the nearest 5 or 10 increment? If so, this practice may violate the wage and hour laws. Do you get compensatory time when you work overtime? If so, many companies do not properly administer such policies, in violation of the law.
The bottom line is that wage and hour laws are complicated and if you believe that you may not have been treated fairly in any pay-related matter, we would like to talk with you.
Our staff is unusual in a firm that only represents plaintiffs, because our counsel have worked in corporate America, within the Fortune 500 world; and have worked in legislative wage and hour think-tanks, and special industry round tables, defending companies against these kinds of wage and hour claims, involving tens of millions of dollars, nationwide. Few plaintiffs' law firms have that kind of depth of experience or understanding about how companies violate the laws in this area. Our Wage & Hour Team is also unusual because all they do are these kinds of cases, and no others. Our clients get a team of lawyers that work in this area, alone, and not in whatever walks through the door. Meet our Wage & Hour Team.