Many of our clients come to us with pressing concerns over recovering their unpaid wages. It’s an unfortunate fact in America that many honest workers lose money due to wage theft. Let’s explore unpaid wages and the recovery process.
Here are some FAQs with regard to regaining unpaid wages:
Recovering Unpaid Wages FAQs
- What are the most common ways for workers to lose wages?
Employees often lose wages because of unpaid overtime premiums as well as through wages that do not meet minimum wage requirements (state or federal). It’s also common for employees to lose several minutes or hours from their paychecks due to management removing time from electronic time-keeping systems or illegal rounding of time workers enter into the systems. Finally, employers often work employees off the clock which means that employees perform work without recording that time into the employers’ timekeeping system so this work time goes unpaid.
- Do I really have to perform certain work tasks off the clock?
No, it’s illegal for your employer to require you to do anything off the clock or unpaid.
Where does it occur most? It happens a lot in workplaces throughout the United States. For example, it is illegal for an employer to ask employees to respond to work emails or texts or take phone calls while not clocked into the timekeeping system. Similarly, it is illegal for employers to ask employees to clock out and then continue cleaning up the work area or otherwise prepare for the next shift.
- Am I always entitled to overtime pay as an hourly worker?
Yes, assuming you fulfill the requirements for receiving overtime pay, then your employer must pay you the legally mandated overtime pay. The basic requirement for overtime is that employees are legally entitled to overtime pay for all work time that exceeds 40 hours per week. Once employees reach that threshold, the employer must pay employees 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all time worked which exceeds 40 hours per week. There are further regulations on this depending on the state in which the employees work. Employees can sue to recover unpaid overtime if the employer refuses to pay it.
- If I’m a salaried employee, am I entitled to overtime wages?
Generally, salaried employees do not earn overtime premiums because they’re normally exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The key to whether or not salaried employees are entitled to overtime if their job duties. Only salaried employees whose job duties meet a stringent test are ineligible for overtime pay.
We find a lot of cases where workers receive a promotion if you could call it that, into an assistant manager role. As this happens, they receive a salary, lose overtime eligibility, perform the work of an hourly employee, and work far more than previously. This is generally illegal because these assistant managers remain entitled to overtime pay because their job duties do not qualify for non-payment of overtime.
Other Problems That Contribute to Lost Wages
You’ll also notice on our website that there are several sections related to lost wages. These include everything from the manipulation of contract workers, misclassification of inside salespersons, and automatic clock problems.
We mention this to make sure you’re aware that illegal wage discrepancies and non-payment impact many workers across numerous industries, job categories, and income levels. The federal and state laws governing wages apply to everyone.
Unpaid Wages: Never Abandon Hope If You Know You’re Right
It’s no secret that employers rarely pay employees correctly until the employees take action to get the wage they have earned.
It’s for that reason we invite you to reach out to us for a free consultation. You can contact us anytime for an initial consultation.
Recovering Lost Wages for Hard Working Americans
We covered many of the issues that cause lost wages and grief for American workers. It’s regrettable, but these only scratch the surface of what we see while representing unpaid wage victims.
Please contact us soon if you want to start the process of recovering your unpaid wages.