Workers on Long Island and across the US seek help from attorneys, like the ones at Leeds Brown Law, PC, when they believe their employers are withholding wages.
Employees receive protection from laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which is one of many national laws. Basic legal rights under the FLSA include things like overtime pay, minimum wages and retaining tips. States and regions, like Long Island, may have their own wage and hour laws that broaden the legal rights granted by the FLSA.
Employment laws and labor laws do not equivocate: wages belong to workers. Wage theft takes place when employers don’t pay wages the law requires, such as taking gratuities, neglecting to pay for overtime or paying below minimum wage. When employers withhold pay like this, workers have the right to try and recover their wages.
Employees on Long Island who would like lawyers with practical experience to help file their unpaid wage lawsuits look no farther than Leeds Brown. Thousands of hard-working people have benefited from our counsel. When businesses take pay, we help workers obtain favorable outcomes and collect their income. Violations of wage and hour laws happen with alarming frequency and often have the largest effect on low-wage workers.
The best way to safeguard your legal rights is to understand them. Our lawyers can advise you on how to move forward with your claim for unpaid wages. Any pay your employer has stolen: overtime, gratuities, or other wages, our attorneys can assist you to get that income back.
The FLSA sets the hourly minimum wage for the nation. At present, the federal minimum wage is $7.25. Long Island and New York City have considerably higher minimum wages that are on schedule to change each year through 2022. The maximum applicable rate is the one that businesses must pay to employees.
Sometimes, businesses won’t pay employees for work hours. This can mean you are getting compensated well beneath the minimum wage if your work time had been properly computed. For instance, if your boss pays you the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for 35 hours of work, your earnings should be $253.75. But, if you really work 40 hours and your boss pays you $253.75, your hourly rate falls to $6.34 which is below the minimum wage. Workers in many cases are compelled to just accept their wages even when they are below minimum wage. Their employers know they want to keep their jobs and take full advantage of this. No matter how businesses skirt minimum wage standards, however, employees deserve their entire lawful wages.
Laws require your employer to pay you for all the time spent carrying out work. Overtime refers to all periods worked which go beyond 40 hours. To compute overtime, you must take one-and-a-half times your standard rate of pay. That amount is what you should receive for the time you work that is greater than 40 hours.
There are employers who will stop at nothing to avoid their overtime responsibilities. Misclassification of qualified workers as exempt is one of the ways companies try to do this. Others simply will not pay for additional periods workers work voicing “reasons” which have no merit. Businesses commonly tell employees that they do not have to pay overtime since they never gave permission to work extra hours. Businesses may explain to employees that they don’t need to pay overtime for required evening training classes. There are companies that blatantly “remove” hours and simply don’t consider them when adding up pay.
Breaking overtime laws has financial implications for companies. Businesses may be accountable for having to pay workers for all the overtime they refused to pay, along with additional money. Employers may also have to pay liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, and civil fees and penalties.
Theft of tips is problematic for a lot of employees in both the hotel and food service sectors. Employees on Long Island retain their tips. Proprietors, managers, and other executives for a restaurant, hotel or pub may not take gratuities from the workers who earn them. They aren’t legitimately entitled to any gratuities.
Employers might ask workers to form unlawful tip pools which include workers who are not allowed to get tips. Non-tipped workers may not be included in tip pools. They are lawful only when all workers are tipped employees. Waiters, bartenders, and bussers in a diner, for example, can likely form legal tip pools. But, they may not include dishwashers or cooks.
Businesses can take a part of tips in very particular circumstances. For example, companies may subtract pro-rated portions from gratuities to put them toward charge card transaction fees. They may only do this when customers put tips on credit cards. Employers aren’t taking the money deducted from tips for themselves. Actually, the money is going to the credit card companies who charge the associated fee.
Helping employees retain tips is one of Long Island’s main concerns. “Service fees” that appear on your invoice, for example, are presumed to be for the workers, not the restaurant owners. Employers may retain this money as long as they have given customers explicit notice. Employers are required to convey to the customers that the charges are not gratuities to be distributed to the employees, but that this money will be kept by the business. Absent the proper notification to customers; employers need to turn that money to their employees.
Tip credits enable employers to pay tipped workers a lower cash wage than the normal hourly minimum wage. The method for this can be confusing, and employers often use tip credits incorrectly. The result is wage theft: companies retaining wages from the workers that have earned them.
Underpaying employees is wage theft. Businesses find many ways to retain earnings from their employees. Many of them violate the FLSA by failing to pay overtime when employees put in more than 40 hours of work in one week. Sometimes, businesses won’t deliver tips to the workers who earn them. Businesses can also refuse to pay for the fifteen minutes you have to spend on the property getting yourself ready for work. Even when wage and hour offenses seem to take place on a small-scale, wage theft can substantially affect employees in time.
Consider trying to fix small irregularities by talking to your boss, human resources or payroll office. Not all problems result from malicious intent. It is possible that harmless oversight or clerical errors caused your problem. If this is the truth, the remedy for you may be hassle-free. You just need to comply with any formalized procedures your employer has, if any.
If you’re unable to resolve your issue, call Leeds Brown, wage and hour attorneys helping clients file unpaid wage lawsuits nationwide including Long Island. You have rights to keep the wages you make, and we can help you uphold them. We can also help if your employer retaliates against you when you attempt to enforce those legal rights. You may not be demoted, fired or otherwise penalized for trying to obtain your wages.
With years and years of experience, we know what must be done to protect the legal rights of employees in all types of wage theft lawsuits including those addressing overtime, minimum wage, and gratuities. Call to find out more. See whether you have a viable claim today. Reach out to our unpaid wage lawyers on Long Island and call 1-800-585-4658 today.