Fair Labor Standards Act Claims in Jacksonville
Overtime and Wage & Hour Disputes
Labor costs are constantly scrutinized in the business community. Employee compensation is a normal cost of a business but is also an area of business in which employers see an opportunity to cut corners. To the benefit of the employee, however, federal and Florida laws provide strict regulations that prohibit employers from failing to compensate their workers appropriately.
Overtime compensation is an example of a particular unpaid wage claim and an expense that businesses continue to exploit and manipulate in efforts to deny workers the wages they are due. To ensure that your rights are protected, speak with the Jacksonville employment lawyer from the Law Office of Shands M. Wulbern, P.A.at once.
About the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs overtime compensation requirements of covered employers for non-exempt employees. Non-exempt employees, those who meet certain job classifications, must be paid a time-and-a-half rate compared with their regular hourly rate for any time worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
Simply because an employer labels a worker as exempt does not necessarily mean he or she is exempt under the law. A number of different classifications and factors may be involved in determining whether an employee is exempt from overtime, and some employers will bend the rules to avoid overtime designations for certain workers.
Some employers will try to avoid the requirement to pay overtime wages through variable work schedules and pay structures. Examples of this include:
- Paying hourly rates that are artificially low
- Assessing overtime as comp time or as time off instead of as overtime pay
- Imposing a split-day plan rate, or
- Designating hourly time which should be compensated instead as standby or on-call time.
If overtime pay is owed, it must be paid during a regular pay period and not deferred until some period in the future.
Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act
When an employer can be demonstrated to have violated the provisions of the FLSA, that employer may be ordered to rectify the situation by paying the back pay that is owed for overtime, and to do so at a rate of 150% the normal hourly rate. This is in addition to payment of liquidated damages, which may be assessed for willfully violating the FLSA, with the damages being calculated at a rate of the back pay due, plus attorney fees and costs.
When several employees band together for a collection action involving an FLSA violation, the case may result in additional relief for the entire workforce affected by the violation. Employees are also protected from retaliation resulting from a complaint or instituting proceedings regarding FLSA violations. Employees who are terminated or otherwise subjected to adverse employment actions for raising FLSA complaints of overtime violations will potentially have additional claims and damages owed.
In addition to failure to pay overtime, some employers simply refuse to pay the appropriate wages for services rendered. In some cases, employers have tried to give excuses for failing to pay their employees and continue to deny compensation for services rendered. Cases of this kind may give rise to unpaid wages and unjust enrichment claims. In other instances, agreements regarding compensation or commissions are breached. Sales representatives are among the most vulnerable types of employees when it comes to employer violations of agreements for payment of commissions. As a result, they often incur substantial losses due to the complicated and obfuscated structures of such agreements.
Some businesses engage in sophisticated schemes to prevent certain employees from obtaining significant commission payments that are rightfully owed to them. Employees do have remedies against fraudulent commission plans, and a thorough legal analysis should be obtained to determine the legal issues involved. Similar to the FLSA, there are also regulations on the state and federal levels that provide legal protection to whistleblowers who might be at risk of suffering retaliation for speaking out about legitimate complaints having to do with unpaid wages and commissions.
Are You a Victim of Violations Involving Overtime Pay or Unpaid Wages?
If you believe you are owed overtime or any other form of compensation, contact Attorney Shands M. Wulbern and gain immediate access to the Jacksonville employment attorney. Please note that strict time limitations apply to wage claims. For that reason, it is very much in your best interests to file your claim without any delay. Taking action now could increase the potential value of your claim.
Contact the firm now to get started on your case!