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Chicago Wage And Hour Laws Blog

Wage violations for tipped employees continue to be a problem

Pho Ha Vietnamese Restaurant will have to pay $219,716 to 33 employees for back wages and damages, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The California restaurant's violations include failure to pay minimum wage and overtime, as well as recordkeeping violations. 

Does your position exempt you from overtime pay?

When you work more than 40 hours per week, you want to receive compensation for your extended work time. Yet for many working individuals, a job that lacks work-life balance may not legally require payment in the United States.

The Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) confirms that multiple groups of individuals do not prove eligible for overtime pay based on their careers and job descriptions. Before making a claim against your employer, you want to ensure that you do not fall into the ineligible category of workers. If you believe you are entitled to overtime pay that you are not receiving, speak to an experienced attorney who may help you develop a strong case to obtain compensation.

5 common FLSA violations in the workplace

The American Dream says that everyone should have an equal opportunity for success and prosperity through hard work and determination.

You have set a course toward success and are paving the path every day to get yourself there. While you’re hard at work, it’s important that you know about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and what protections it offers you. Then, while you’re hard at work, keep an eye out for these common workplace violations that are designed to benefit your employer and set you back on your path to success.

Payroll Violations Run Rampant

Even though you trust your employer, you should take a close look at your pay stub every payday to make sure that your pay reflects the hours you worked. Some mistakes are unintentional, but many “mistakes” are designed to enhance the company’s bottom line. Here are some payroll issues to look out for when you receive your next paycheck.

Are You On-Call, Traveling or Waiting?

Employers May Need to Pay Workers for Short Rest Breaks

When employees are promised breaks as part of their employment, federal law considers those breaks as part of their paid work hours. These hours must be included in the calculation of total hours worked and must be used to calculate overtime.

Federal law doesn’t require rest breaks. They are commonly offered by employers to boost productivity and enhance employee morale. Eight states (California, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) have laws requiring rests. Typically, employees are offered a 10-minute break for every four hours worked.

Workers seek back pay for “off-the-clock” work duties

Some occupations require specific clothing or costumes that workers leave at the business. In today’s technological age, logging into business systems may be a necessity to perform the job. For workers who require specific safety gear to perform their jobs, changing into the work clothes may be compensable as far as federal wage and hour laws go.

The issue of “donning and doffing” is not new, but issues continue to arise in this area of employment law under the Fair Labor Standards Act. A similar concept recently arose in the area of signing on through a complex process of firewalls that call-center nurses say they were not properly paid as a part of their jobs.

Study: Wage theft is rampant in most populous states

Getting paid for a hard day's work may not always result in full satisfaction for workers. Reading through a W-2 can seem frustrating -- adding up the various deductions that are legally taken out from your bottom line. However, recent research conducted by the Economic Policy Institute shows that wage theft is a substantial problem in America.

After reviewing minimum wage pay violations in the 10 most-populous states in the country, the study's authors estimate that wage theft costs Americans more money than is stolen in acts of burglary, larceny, auto theft and robberies combined. And the research only touched one aspect of wage theft -- the failure to pay the relevant minimum wage.

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