Employment and Labor law can be tricky to deal with because it involves a unique interaction of Federal and State laws. The Fair Standards and Labor Act (FLSA) governs Federal employment law and sets basic requirements that all employers operating in the U.S. are required to follow.
In recent decades, employers have become more and more sneaky in their ways of swindling employees out of their money. It is critical that an employee at a company understand their role in the company and their rights.
Contact a Pinellas County wage and hour lawyer right away if you feel you are not receiving all the pay you are owed by your employer. An experienced personal injury attorney in Pinellas County can build a claim to help you recover the compensation you may be entitled to.
Wage and Hour Claims
There are a few elements to note when discussing wage and hour claims. These factors can be best explained by a Pinellas County wage and hour lawyer.
- Paying Minimum Wage. An employer in the State of Florida must pay an employee a minimum of $8.10 an hour. Note that the minimum wage in Florida is greater than the current Federal minimum wage ($7.25). Employees who fall within the realm of “tipped workers” (bartenders, servers, etc.) have a lower minimum wage of $5.08 per hour. The laws pertaining to tipped workers can be difficult to understand and it is best to contact an employment attorney if a tipped employee has questions about their employer’s business practices.
- Unpaid Overtime. An employee who works more than 40 hours a week is entitled to be paid time and a half for any additional hours worked. There are some exceptions to this rule that many employers try to exploit, but to their own demise.
- Failing to Provide for Breaks. Employees are generally entitled to take a lunch break and occasional breaks throughout the workday. An employer who fails to provide an employee with their rightful lunchtime and/or breaks may be in violation of the law. Employees who are forced to work through their lunch breaks may be entitled to compensation for their time.
Classifying Types of Workers
Oftentimes, employers will attempt to classify their workers in particular categories so as to limit liability or save money on taxes. Labels and job titles are not generally given much credence in the eyes of the law.
A traditional independent contractor receives a 1099 tax form and is someone who provides a service and uses their own tools and material to perform the work. Independent contractors can refuse to perform work for an employer without consequence and exercise complete control over their work.
An employee, on the other hand, will be subject to the will of the employer. In a traditional employee-employer relationship, the employer has control over the work to be performed and how the employee is supposed to go about performing the work.
This area of the law can be very tricky and varies on a case-by-case basis. Attorneys have seen clients who were treated as independent contractors but their roles placed them closer on the employee side of the continuum. An experienced wage and hour attorney in Pinellas County will be able to gauge whether an individual is a true independent contractor or not.
Contacting a Wage and Hour Attorney
If you believe your employer has been operating in violation of Federal or State employment laws, contact an experienced Pinellas County wage and hour attorney immediately. There are time restrictions on filing employment-related causes of action, so timing is critical in that respect.
An experienced attorney will have handled many employment law cases and have experience in enforcing the rights of employees and independent contractors in Pinellas County and the surrounding areas.
Do not hesitate, contact a wage and hour attorney in Pinellas County today to discuss your potential claim.