I hope this guide is helpful to hourly workers that feel they may not be getting paid what they deserve. The FLSA requires employees be paid at least $7.25 per hour and 150% their regular rate of pay for each overtime hour.
1. Talking to a Lawyer Can Be Free!
If you feel that your employer isn't paying you correctly, try to find an experienced employment attorney to consult with. Many attorneys offer free consultations for this kind of matter. In most cases, it is much faster to talk to an attorney than to proceed with a complaint with the Department of Labor
2. Preserve records, but don't worry if you don't!
Try to keep records in the form of time cards and pay stubs. However, even if you've lost these records, know that is not the end of your case. Courts have determined that because it is your employer's responsibility to keep detailed records, employers cannot escape liability just because you lost them.
3. Your Boss May Be Wrong!
The fact that your employer labels you an independent contractor or tells you that you are exempt from overtime is not controlling. The law decides your status and your pay. Talking to a lawyer should clear this up regardless of what your boss says.
4. You Can't Be Fired for Complaining!
Generally, it is unlawful for an employer to fire or retaliate against you for complaining about your pay, hiring a lawyer, or even suing them for owed wages.
5. No Money? No Problem!
In many cases involving owed wages, your employer may have to pay for your attorney. In others, your attorney may be paid out of the proceeds of your settlement. In any case, do not be discouraged because you've been told lawyers are expensive. It is entirely possible to retain a lawyer without having to pay any money up front.
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