Unpaid Wages and Overtime

The Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) is a federal law with two parts: the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, and the “time and a half” rule for overtime work.

The minimum wage applies to most workers, whether they’re paid hourly or salary, and guarantees that their companies have to pay them at least $7.25 per hour of work.

The overtime rules kick in when an employee works more than 40 hours in a given week. For each hour (or part of an hour) above 40, the company has to pay 1.5 times what they usually pay per hour. So if you usually get paid $10 per hour, your overtime rate is $15 per hour.

Unlike many federal employment laws, the FLSA applies to all employers that do business in “interstate commerce,” regardless of their size. Almost universal telephone and Internet communication means that the great majority of companies are subject to the FLSA.

There are a lot of exceptions to the minimum wage–for example, certain kinds of “piece work” or farm labor. Some salaried employees are exempt from the overtime rules. While many companies say that certain employees are exempt, they can be mistaken. In this situation, the FLSA has rules for calculating what your “wage” was and determines your overtime rate based on that.

As with most employment laws, the FLSA exemptions and exceptions depend on the facts of your job duties. If you think you aren’t getting paid the minimum wage or overtime you’re owed, please contact us to set up a consultation.

Federal employees are subject to special overtime rules, including allowances for compensatory time off or “comp time.”

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us.