What is the working time under the wage and hour laws?
Too many people in the U.S. work in semi-adequate conditions and for very little pay. Fortunately there are laws and rules that protect workers rights in regards to the hours worked and pay received. Among all of these laws, the most powerful are the wage and hour laws. This dictates the minimum amount that a person can earn per hour worked. Every state has its own wage and hour laws and many also have provisions for the number of hours a person can work in a day, as well as, minimums for overtime, holiday, and weekend pay.
Wages are one of the most employment related concerns for workers. Over the last few years, wages and fair pay federal and state laws have considerably evolved. These rules that govern the laws are not always easy to understand. The following is a general overview of the wage and hour laws. If you believe your employer is violating them, you should consult a federal employment lawyer like one from the Law Group of Iowa who will be able to inform you of your rights.
Wage and Hour Laws
Both federal and state laws stipulate the minimum wage every worker should receive. These same laws also discuss how a worker should receive overtime pay. Unfortunately many employers neglect or ignore these laws. Others simply don’t understand how to comply with them. Some of the most common violations of wage laws include:
- Failure to pay the correct minimum wage according to state/federal laws
- Paying a lower “training wage” or “youth wage” to a worker who should be paid more
- Improperly classifying an exempt employee
- Failing to pay overtime
- Making employees work off the clock and not paying them for this work
- Stealing tips
- Deducting too much money for tips
- Deducting too much money for goods, such as accommodation or food
All of the wage and hour laws are meant to protect employees and their rights, while at the same time ensuring employers practice fair and moral ethical standards.
Any work that an employee performs and an employer permits is considered to be compensable under the wage and hour laws. If an employer knows the employee has worked, even if the employee was not given instructions to do so, or the work was performed outside the normal working hours, the employee must be compensated for the work. If the total amount of hours is more than 40 hours in one work week, the employee should also be compensated for overtime pay. That said, if the employee did work that was unauthorized, the employer can discipline him or her, but would still have to pay them. In addition to this, the wage and hour laws typically address pre and post work activities and whether they should be compensated for. For example, commuting to and from work is usually not compensated for, nor is changing clothes at a worksite. Whereas, assembling tools and short breaks should be compensated. Furthermore, if an employee is on call, they should be compensated even if they have no duties to perform at the time.
Wage and hour laws are very complicated. If you believe you have been unfairly compensated, please call a federal employment lawyer today.