According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all employees must be paid for their work hours, including overtime hours. Too often, however, employers classify employees as exempt or contractors to avoid paying overtime, payroll taxes, and other benefits that employees are legally entitled to receive. Unfortunately, employees who work for low wages in horrible conditions are often the victim of wage and hour violations. Too many employers take advantage of employees unaware of their rights or fear repercussions if they speak out. If you believe your employer is violating wage and hour laws and you have not been paid for your hours, do not hesitate to contact an experienced employment lawyer at your earliest convenience.

What Are My Rights Under State and Federal Laws?

As an employee, you have rights regarding the number of hours you work and the hourly wage you receive. The following are the rights that you are legally entitled to:

  • The right to receive a minimum wage. In New Jersey, the current minimum wage is $15.13 per hour.
  • The right to receive overtime pay. Federal law states that employers must pay employees one-and-a-half times their hourly wage for all hours that exceed 40 in a workweek. New Jersey has similar requirements regarding overtime pay. However, there are a number of exceptions and exemptions to these requirements. An employment lawyer will ensure you receive all overtime pay to which you are legally entitled.
  • The right to be paid for short breaks. New Jersey and federal law do not require employers to permit employees to take breaks, but if they are allowed to take a break of up to 20 minutes, the employee must be paid for that time.
  • The right to protection against retaliation. New Jersey wage and hour laws protect employees who retaliate against their employer for wage and hour violations.
  • The right to paid and unpaid time off. Your right to paid vacation, holiday, and sick days will vary depending on where you live. Your employer should thoroughly explain their policy for paid and unpaid time off. If you were not paid for sick or vacation days that you should have been paid for, an employment lawyer will assist you with a wage and hour claim.
  • The right to family and medical leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) provide job protection for up to 12 weeks if an employee needs to take time off for childbirth, adoption, serious health condition, or a health condition of an immediate family member.

Do Wage and Hour Laws Apply to Exempt and Nonexempt Employees?

FLSA protections only apply to nonexempt workers or those receiving an hourly wage. That means that FLSA protections and requirements do not apply to employees who are paid an annual salary, are in executive or administrative positions, or are highly compensated for their work. In addition, independent contractors, agricultural workers, and rail workers do not fall under FLSA, although they do have other protections under federal law.

How Do I Recover Damages for Wage and Hour Violations?

If your employer has violated wage and hour laws and failed to pay you for the hours you worked, you may want to consider filing a wage and hour claim against your employer. An employer can violate an employee’s right to fair wages in several ways, from misclassifying an employee to trying to avoid paying overtime wages.

To reach the best possible outcome and recover the damages you are entitled to, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced employment lawyer who will protect your legal rights, help you obtain the evidence necessary to prove that your employer violated the wage and hour laws, and negotiate the best possible settlement outcome. If you pursue legal action against your employer, they may also seek legal representation, so it is essential that you have a lawyer on your side who will protect your legal and financial interests.

What Damages am I Entitled to in a Wage and Hour Claim?

If your employer has violated the wage and hour laws, and you have not been paid for the hours that you worked, you may be entitled to the following damages:

  • Unpaid wages: A successful wage and hour claim will ensure you are compensated for the hours your employer failed to pay you, including any overtime pay you did not receive. If you were paid your regular wages for overtime hours, you will likely be awarded the difference between your regular wages and the overtime pay you should have received.
  • Interest: You may also be entitled to interest on unpaid wages at a rate that state laws will set. You can also recover liquidated damages and money amounts set in advance by law and award them to you instead of interest. Your employment lawyer will determine whether recovering interest or liquidated damages is best.
  • Attorney’s fees: Your employer may also have to pay your attorney’s fees, any other administration fees associated with the case, and the costs of pursuing the case.

Our Marlton Employment Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Represent Clients in Wage and Hour Disputes

If your employer has not paid you for the number of hours you worked or they are withholding compensation, it is in your best interest to contact our Marlton employment lawyers at Burnham Douglass. We will discuss the details of your case with you. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 856-751-5505 or contact us online. Located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we service clients in South Jersey, including Evesham Township, Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic City.