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Workers drive the national economy, but too many aren’t getting paid what they are owed. At Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky, P.C., our team of wage & hour lawyers go the extra mile to protect workers and their families. You deserve to be paid for every hour worked, including overtime pay if you qualify. Companies use many tactics to cheat workers out of their wages, and not all mistakes are innocent. Call our firm if you suspect your employer has failed to pay all your wages. Wage theft is a major problem in the U.S., and a wage & hour attorney at our firm can explain more about your legal rights in a free case evaluation.

Wage & Hour Laws

Workers are covered by both state and federal laws in the following areas:

  • Minimum wage. The federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, but states and cities can set higher minimums.
  • Overtime compensation. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek unless a worker is exempt. Overtime pay should be time and a half. As with the minimum wage, states can provide more generous overtime laws.

Cases We Handle

Employers use various techniques to shortchange their workers and deny them a fair wage. For example, some employers don’t start the clock for your shift until you’ve put on all safety equipment or even prepared a store for opening. Others will claim you aren’t entitled to overtime pay when you are.

We can help workers in the following situations:

Failure to Pay Minimum Wage

Minimum wage laws should be easy to understand, but tipped employees are often at risk of getting less than the law requires. Employers might provide a wage statement that’s confusing or impossible to understand.

Misclassified As Exempt from Overtime

Overtime law applies to all workers unless they are exempt. Many employers wrongly classify workers as exempt to avoid paying them time and a half for overtime. However, exemptions are narrower than many people imagine. For example, a worker who is paid a salary is not automatically exempt. Salaried employees are only exempt if they perform administrative, professional, or executive duties. An employer might promote a secretary and claim she’s now an administrator or manager when her job duties have not changed at all. Call our wage & hour attorney to review whether you qualify for overtime.

Receiving Comp Time Instead of Overtime Pay

Some companies provide “comp time” instead of overtime pay. For example, if you worked 50 hours in a week, they might provide 15 additional hours of vacation or personal time as “comp time.”

The law prohibits substituting comp time for overtime pay at private workplaces. If you aren’t exempt, you should receive overtime. Reach out to Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky, P.C., if you are offered comp time as a substitute.

Misclassified as an Independent Contractor

Independent contractors are not employees, so they are not covered by most wage and hour laws. Typically, an independent contractor has their own business and controls the method of performing work.

Some companies misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying them overtime or even the minimum wage. A worker protection lawyer at our firm can review whether you meet the test for an independent contractor.

Failure to Pay for All Hours Worked

This is usually a bigger problem than failing to pay the minimum wage. An employer will not count all the work an employee performs, which ends up cheating them of wages. Some “off the clock” work includes:

  • Setting up tables and chairs
  • Putting on safety equipment
  • Cleaning the premises
  • Answering emails or checking phone messages
  • Going through security
  • Working through a meal break
  • Running errands for your boss on a break
  • Making deliveries for your company at the beginning or end of a shift

Employees need to ensure they are being paid for all hours worked. If not, they should contact a wage & hour class action lawyer at our firm to discuss the next steps.

How to Fight Back

Both state and federal laws provide powerful remedies for workers who are cheated out of their wages. Workers have several options, including filing an administrative complaint or heading into court and filing a lawsuit.

Sometimes it makes sense for several workers at one company to band together and bring a class action. If a company is cheating one worker out of wages, there’s a good chance they are pulling the same trick on dozens or even hundreds of workers. A worker protection class action attorney can review whether it makes sense to bring a claim as a class action. Doing so often puts pressure on a big company to settle.

A worker can usually request the following compensation:

  • Back pay. Get paid what you are owed. An employer who doesn’t pay for work at the start of a shift is withholding wages. Once counted, you might also qualify for overtime. In most cases, you can request unpaid wages for the past two years, or three years if your employer made a willful error.
  • Liquidated damages. Employers usually have to pay a penalty that is equal to the amount of withheld wages. A worker can usually double the amount they receive.
  • Attorneys’ fees and out-of-pocket expenses. You are entitled to these expenses related to your case.

Our Services to Our Wage & Hour Clients

A wage & hour class action lawyer at our firm can immediately:

  • Review your timesheets and pay stubs to determine if you are being paid for all hours worked.
  • Analyze whether you qualify for overtime pay or are exempt.
  • Gather additional evidence to use in support of your case.
  • Determine whether you can start a class action or join one already in process.
  • File a claim before an administrative agency or in court.

Let us explain more about our services and answer any questions you might have.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Washington Wage & Hour Lawyer Today

Speak with an Experienced Wage & Hour Attorney Today

Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky, P.C. is proud to stand up for workers when they are not being treated fairly. We have built our reputation by providing outstanding service to workers for over 15 years. Call our firm today to schedule a consultation.