St. Louis Employment Law
As an hourly worker, you are very aware of the hours you put in and the state minimum wage requirements. After all, no one else is offering to make sure you are earning a fair wage. However, week after week, your paycheck just doesn’t add up. You are getting fewer hours on your schedule and are expected to perform work-related tasks before clocking in. You need your job and are afraid that complaining about it will jeopardize your job security. You need to understand that what your employer is doing could be illegal. If he is violating fair labor standards, you might have a legal case against him.
Not Earning Fair Wages For Your Hard Work? Find Out How To Take Action Here.
What Constitutes Wage and Hour Violations?
There are many ways your employer could be violating wage and hour standards. Each incident may not seem like much, but when taken together, he could be committing a major violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Some common violations include:
- Misclassifying workers. A dishonest employer might classify an hourly worker as salaried to avoid paying overtime wages, as salaried workers are ineligible for overtime pay.
- Using false contractors. While employers can save money on overtime and benefits by using independent contract workers instead of hiring employees, there are strict guidelines governing the independent contractor classification. When employers use workers as contractors who do not meet this legal definition, they are violating the law.
- Requiring off-the-clock work. When workers are expected to perform work-related tasks before clocking in, the employer is violating fair hour rules. A worker cannot be required to complete tasks such as setting up restaurant service, loading trucks, preparing a worksite, or transferring equipment off the clock.
- Underpaying overtime. Hourly workers must be paid at a rate of time and half their regular hourly pay for any time worked over 40 hours in a week. This is a common violation and one that many workers are unwilling to protest.
- Not providing a lunch break. While Missouri law does not require employers to provide breaks of any kind, including meal breaks, Illinois does require that employees working at least 7½ hours be given a 20-minute meal break within the first five hours of beginning a shift. Even without a state law, however, an employer could be held accountable for not honoring the company’s own meal and break policies.
- Short-changing paychecks. When an employer fails to pay a worker an agreed-upon wage, he is violating fair labor practices, no matter what the reason is for the reduction in pay.
- Not paying for travel and training. Employers are not required to pay employees for the time it takes them to commute to work, but if the employee is required to travel during work hours, that time must be paid at his regular rate. Workers must also be paid for required training.
- Falsifying timesheets. If an employer alters a worker’s timesheet to avoid paying overtime, he is breaking the law, even if the alteration is just shifting hours worked to the next week. Again, if more than 40 hours are worked in a week, the employee must be paid time and a half.
- Paying day rates. Employees must be paid at least the state minimum wage for every hour worked; therefore, day rates that don’t take into account the number of hours worked are illegal.
Very often, when an employer is known to commit one of these violations, he is guilty of committing more than one. If you don’t speak up, the employer will continue to violate fair labor standards and more workers will be victimized. With the help and protection of an experienced employment lawyer, you can get your fair wages and keep your job.
Wyatt Wright Will Fight for You
Many Americans work their whole lives for an hourly wage. They depend on employers honoring the state minimum wage rates. Many of them also depend on overtime hours for overtime pay just to make ends meet at home. The Fair Labor Standards Act came about after decades of abuse of hourly workers, and Wyatt Wright is proud to stand up for workers against violations of these important protections. If you think your rights are being violated, contact us via the link on this page for a free consultation. We will help you prove your case and stand up for what’s right.
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