Employment law is a complex field that covers various aspects of the employer-employee relationship. One area of employment law that often causes confusion and frustration for workers is unpaid wages. In this blog post, we will explore what you need to know about unpaid wages and other labor violations in the workplace.
Introduction to Employment Law and Unpaid Wages
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets forth federal guidelines regarding minimum wage and overtime pay. Under FLSA, employees must be paid at least $7.25 per hour and time-and-a-half for any hours worked beyond 40 in a week. However, many employers fail to comply with these laws, resulting in unpaid wages for their employees.
Recovery of Overtime Pay: What You Need to Know
If your employer has failed to pay you overtime wages, there are several steps you can take to recover those funds. First, you should speak directly with your employer and request payment for the unpaid wages. If they refuse or ignore your requests, you may want to consider filing a complaint with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. This agency investigates claims of unpaid wages and can help you pursue legal action against your employer if necessary.
Understanding Disability Discrimination in the Workplace
Another common labor violation is disability discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals on the basis of their disability. This means that an employer cannot deny an employee a job opportunity, promotion, or benefits because of their disability. Additionally, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to enable disabled employees to perform their jobs effectively.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Your Rights as an Employee
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for certain family and medical reasons. These include caring for a sick child or spouse, taking care of one’s own health needs, or dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster. During this period, employers must continue to offer group health insurance coverage to employees who qualify for FMLA leave.
Protecting Yourself from Labor Violations: Tips for Employees
As an employee, it’s important to protect yourself from potential labor violations. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Keep detailed records of all work-related activities, including hours worked, tasks performed, and wages earned.
- Familiarize yourself with federal and state employment laws so you understand your rights and responsibilities under the law.
- Speak up if you suspect your employer is engaging in illegal practices. Consider talking to a lawyer or contacting the appropriate government agency.
How to Avoid Unpaid Wage Situations
To avoid situations where you might not get paid properly, here are some things you can do:
- Make sure you have a clear understanding of your company’s policies and procedures related to payroll.
- Ask questions if something doesn’t seem right or if you don’t receive your expected paycheck.
- Be proactive by keeping track of your hours worked and making sure they match up with your pay stubs.
In conclusion, while employment law can be complicated, it’s essential for employees to understand their rights and protections under the law. By knowing how to recognize and respond to potential labor violations, such as unpaid wages, disability discrimination, and FMLA abuses, you can stand up for your rights and ensure fair treatment in the workplace. If you think you may any type of employment law claim, contact Lytle & Barszcz today to learn more. Our consultations are free.