The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires employers to follow federal guidelines regarding minimum wage, overtime compensation, exempt workers status, and other workplace issues. Many employers fail to comply with FLSA regulations because they do not understand the FLSA or because they choose to maximize their profits at the expense of their employees.
Common Wage and Hour Violations
- Overtime compensation violations. The FLSA requires that non-exempt employees receive overtime pay equal to 1.5 times their regular hourly pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week.
- Minimum wage violations. The federal minimum wage is $8.50 per hour.
- Illegally classifying an employee as an independent contractor
- Pre-shift and post-shift unpaid work time
- Improper paycheck deductions
- Salaried employees improperly required to work more than 40 hours per week
Consequences for Employer Violations
If an employer is subject to the FLSA’s regulations and is not paying its employees correctly, it may be liable for any outstanding wages, as well as a penalty that could be up to twice the amount of the unpaid wages plus any attorney’s fees incurred in pursuing the claim.
The following employees are exempt from overtime pay:
- executive, administrative or professional employees as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act
- commissioned employees defined by Section 7(I) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, agricultural workers
- Salesmen and mechanics involved in selling or servicing cars, trucks or farm implements at dealerships
The Illinois’ statute of limitations is 3 years, so unpaid overtime can be collected up to three years from the date earned.
The following can be deducted from employees’ checks:
- Deductions required by law, such as taxes
- Deductions that benefit the employee, such as union dues, health insurance premiums, etc.
- Deductions pursuant to wage assignments or wage deduction orders
- Deductions that the employee has given written consent for
Employers are required to furnish employees with an itemized statement of deductions for each pay period. Employees of the City of Chicago, METRA, CTA, CHA, Chicago Park District, Chicago Board of Education and Chicago City Colleges may be subject to other deductions.
Employers are required to pay employees at least semi-monthly (twice a month). Commissions and executive, administrative and professional employees may be paid once a month. Wages must be paid no later than 13 days after the end of the pay period.
We have extensive experience representing both employers and employees in FLSA litigation. This experience gives the lawyers at Lustig & Wickert a unique perspective of these types of claims. If you have been denied overtime pay or have been sued for failure to pay overtime or minimum wages, call us for a free consultation.