There are several common reasons why employees find themselves encountering wage and hour mistakes during their employment. Often times, these mistakes may constitute costly Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations, and possibly entitle these employees to back wages as well as any potential damages.
Perhaps the biggest mistake an employer can make is simply by misclassifying employees. One way this happens is when an employer inaccurately classifies a worker as an independent contractor, rather than an employee. In these cases, the employees fail to receive their deserved benefits and overtime compensation. In the case that you may be an independent contractor, it is critical to know that even if you have a signed agreement designating you as so, this will not be the final determination of your status.
Another type of employee misclassification is when an employee is labeled as exempt, when they actually should be classified as non-exempt. Since non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay, this common misclassification issue can result in significant losses in wages to the employee. Often times, this can be seen during the summer when many employers hire interns. Businesses will often mistakenly designate an intern as “unpaid”, in turn, failing to pay them what they deserve.
A third mistake often made by employers is their failure to pay employees for all of their deserved time, or time that they have actually worked. This is most commonly seen in the failure to pay overtime to non-exempt workers who are required to work more than 40 hours during the week, but are not paid time and a half. This issue can also be seen in more subtle ways. A couple examples of this may be when employers fail to pay employees during their required lunch breaks or when requiring them to work through their designated breaks.
If you feel you are experiencing any wage and hour mistakes, or you have concerns about your pay, contact Maduff & Maduff for immediate help today.