When you signed your employment contract, you had an understanding that you would work hard, and that your employer would compensate you for the work that you accomplish. Unfortunately, all too often employers shortchange their employees by failing to pay them fully in a variety of situations. Here are the most common wage and hour violations on the part of employers for you to look out for.
Failing to pay overtime
Unless your industry falls under a specific category of exempt workers, federal overtime laws apply to you. This means that your employer must give you time-and-a-half pay for any hours you work above 40 hours in a week.
If you are working overtime hours but not getting paid for them, and you aren’t exempt from the federal statute, then you might be able to bring a lawsuit to vindicate your rights and receive your earned backpay.
Unpaid trainings or seminars
Not all trainings and seminars count as work that requires payment. If a seminar is voluntary, and not required for doing your job, then your employer may have justification for not paying you while you attend it. However, if it is required for your job, and if you are doing work for your company while there, then you may be entitled to compensation for your time.
Federal law requires that employers give employees a set amount of paid break time each day. If your employer is not giving you these breaks, or if they are not paying you for your breaks, then they may be liable for wage theft.
For jobs where employees have to clock in and out of their jobs, employers sometimes round clock-in and clock-out times to the nearest five, ten, or fifteen minutes in order to make employees’ worked time easier to track.
However, this practice can sometimes take paid time away from employees. For example, if your employer rounds your worked time down, and they fail to count ten minutes of worked time every day, that results in nearly an hour of unpaid labor every single week. Over several weeks, that unpaid time can build up to a significant portion of your salary that you are not receiving.
No one likes working for free, and people depend upon their paycheck to meet their daily needs. Make sure that you are getting every dollar that you are entitled to through your labor. If not, make sure that you seek redress for your employer’s violations of your rights.