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Employer violations of FLSA: What you should know


Businesses have an obligation to pay their employees fair wages and may face a FLSA violation if they do not.

When employees put in a hard day’s work, they expect to be paid fair compensation. Employers are responsible for paying their workers’ wages consistent with the number of hours they worked, including any overtime pay if they worked more than 40 hours a week, according to the United States Department of Labor. If an employee is not properly compensated, they may be able to file a claim against their employer for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

What is FLSA?

People in New York and across the country are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which outlines regulations regarding overtime pay, record-keeping, minimum wage and youth employment requirements. The federal government has put these rules in place to ensure workers across a wide-variety of industries will receive their pay, and will not be cheated out of the wages they have earned.

Types of labor law violations

There are several ways that an employer can be cited for a labor law violation. In addition to not properly documenting workers’ hours and paying them for the number of hours worked, employers can also get fined for allowing people to work off-the-clock. This means that people are working, but are not punched in and are not getting paid for the work they have done.

Another potentially serious violation is mismanaging breaks and misclassifying employees. Employees are either classified as non-exempt or exempt. Exempt employees are salary workers, which means that they are generally not eligible for overtime pay. Non-exempt employees, on the other hand, are hourly workers and should be paid time and a half for any overtime hours.

Ensuring compliance

Not only is it crucial that business owners follow the rules to ensure they are in compliance with regulations outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act, but employees must keep track of their paychecks. It is the employees responsible to report any errors in payment on their paychecks as soon as possible. Employees have the right to file a claim against their employer if they believe a violation of the labor laws have occurred.

Undocumented workers

Undocumented workers, or immigrant workers, in the United States are also protected under the FLSA. These workers have the right to receive at least minimum wage for the work they have accomplished and should be eligible for overtime if they have worked over 40 hours. Undocumented workers also have the right to file a complaint against their employer if the need arises.

When to call an attorney

If you feel as though your employer has not paid your fairly, you may want to speak to an attorney in New York regarding your legal options. Small businesses and corporation who have had a labor law violation claim filed against them may also require legal representation. An attorney may help answer any questions you have and help to simplify the legal process.