If your employer has been cheating you out of the wages you are entitled to, it is likely they have been doing the same to other workers too. When this happens, you may have the option to bring a class action — which is when more than one person files a claim for the same reason.
All employers need to abide by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the relevant state employment laws. To bring a wage and hour claim, you need to show your employer has violated one of these laws.
What are the grounds for bringing a wage and hour claim?
Here are some of the ways that an employer might avoid paying you what they should:
- Paying below minimum wage: Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is currently only $7.25 per hour. If one of the repeated attempts to increase this becomes law, you need to ensure your employer adapts.
- Counting tips toward wages: If your boss has been using your tips to say that they are paying the minimum wage, you may be able to take action. They must pay minimum wage independent of tips.
- Not paying overtime: Most employees are entitled to overtime at one and half times their usual pay rate. However, some types of employees are exempt.
- Miscounting your hours: The law clarifies what counts as work, yet your boss may try to tell you that your break time or pre-shift prep time does not count.
You have the right to expect fair payment for the work you put in. If you think your employer has not been paying you fairly, it is crucial to understand the relevant laws to see if you have grounds for a wage and hour claim.