As an employee, you should receive prompt and complete payment for your work, right? Unfortunately, unpaid wages are an all-too-common reality.
Getting the justice that’s rightfully yours can be a complicated and very lengthy process. At Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf, we are committed to justice and to making your wage claim case simple and stress-free. Keep reading to better understand your wage claim case and to get tips on recommended next steps to take when you’re not being paid the wages you’ve rightfully earned.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act protects your right to earn at least the federal minimum wage, to be paid for every hour worked, to keep your tips (except those that are paid into a valid tip pooling arrangement), and to limit deductions from your paycheck. According to Nolo, if you haven’t been paid all the money you’ve earned at work, you might have a legal claim against your employer under state or federal wage and hour law. Both federal law and Louisiana state law provide protections for your wages, including time limits within which employees must be paid.
However, these laws and protections do not keep companies and employers from miscalculating paychecks, benefits, and payroll – whether intentionally or accidentally. The risk of incorrect calculations is even greater when it comes to overtime, “off-clock” time, or time spent traveling for work.
Often, wage claims can be stressful. Sometimes, employees don’t know how to calculate their deserved wages properly and so are unaware that they are missing wages. Other times, employees realize they are being treated unjustly but do not speak up or take action because they fear losing their job.
But there is help available to you! Whatever your situation, you don’t have to wonder if you’re missing wages. And you don’t have to suffer injustice in silence! Taking action towards your solution starts with understanding your problem. Below are 11 of the most common ways that wages are unjustly withheld from employees. If you believe that one of these situations applies to you, competent Louisiana wage & employment lawyers are just a phone call away!
- Travel time not included on payroll.
- Overtime pay not included in work travel time.
- Inaccurate overtime pay. The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act applies to federal workers and contractors and mandates that hourly employees must receive 1.5 times his base pay for any hours worked beyond 40 in a work week. Many private employers have also adapted this provision into law or practice.
- Inaccurate compensation for meal or rest breaks that employees have to work through.
- No compensation for required training programs and classes.
- Not being paid for having to spend time donning safety or other gear at the work site, or not being allowed to clock in before required on-site preparation is complete. Once an employee reports to work on time, anything required to do on the job site to prepare for work is on company time.
- Having to wait at work for a computer system to “boot up” before clocking in.
- Automated time clock systems or similar computer systems not properly calculating work times.
- Being misclassified in some sort of “assistant management” position that makes you a salaried employee or even an “independent contractor” when you are still clearly, under the law, a regular employee. Companies large and small have been known to shortchange workers by making such changes in an attempt to avoid overtime or to avoid matching and withholding taxes and benefits.
- Working for tips and having some or all of your tips withheld by your employer. Louisiana follows federal laws when it comes to tipped employees, according to Nolo, and the laws can be quite complicated. All tipped employees should be receiving at least minimum wage through a combination of their hourly payment and tips, and in many cases, they should make much more. To get clarity on your case you can read more here, or talk to a lawyer.
- Not being paid on time. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Louisiana state law requires employers to provide bi-weekly paychecks to their employees.
As you pursue your case, remember that fair wage procedures are mandatory under Louisiana law. You are protected! Often, you have the legal right to claim twice the money owed, plus penalty fees and attorney expenses. This holds true even if employees agreed to an unlawful wage procedure.
If you think you are owed more than you are receiving, you should have your situation reviewed by an experienced and knowledgeable wage & employment lawyer. The legal team at Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf is here for you. Call 225-343-2205 to speak to an attorney today, or contact us online!
3960 Government St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806