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The FLSA requires that employers pay most employees time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. There are a few ways that employers can avoid paying overtime, but the vast majority of employees, regardless of whether they are paid on a salary basis, hourly basis, commission basis, or piece rate basis, are entitled to overtime compensation.
Some employers try to make employees stay late or get to work early and not pay them for that time. This practice is illegal. The simple rule is that if your employer requires or allows you to work before and after your shift, they have to pay you for that.
Just because you get paid a salary doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get overtime compensation. In fact there are very specific rules about salary-based exemptions. If you are paid a salary, and don’t supervise other employees, or manage a business operation, your employer may owe you overtime compensation.
Independent Contractors are not considered employees, and thus are not eligible for minimum wage and overtime compensation. HOWEVER, the vast majority of individuals that think they are independent contractors are NOT independent contractors. Independent contractors have a broad degree of control on their hours, their pay, and their business, and can set their own wages. Employers often times classify people as independent contractors to avoid paying proper wages and employment taxes.
If you are paid commissions and non-discretionary bonuses, your employer must pay you overtime on these earnings. Commissions and bonuses are wages and need to be included in determining what overtime compensation is due to you.
Regardless of whether you are a Union employee or a non-Union employee, clothes changing and walking time is generally considered time that should be paid for. While this area of law is still developing, it is becoming more common for Courts to require employers to pay for clothes changing (“donning and doffing”) time and walking time, regardless of your Union membership. In fact, you may not even need to bring this issue up with the Union before you seek recovery.
If your employer gives you breaks and lunches, but requires you to work through them, the time may be compensable. Moreover, your employer should pay you for breaks that are under 20 minutes. Your employer should also pay you for breaks longer than 20 minutes if they tell you to perform work-related activities.
Many remote or virtual employees are not paid correctly because their employer doesn’t track all of their work hours. If you are working remotely or from home, and you are not paid for all of your hours, you may be eligible to receive back wages.
Some employers require employees to be “on call” in order to find out whether or not they have to work. The law severely restricts
what an employer can require in an on call policy, if they are not paying the employee. If you are limited in what you can do while you are on call, you may be entitled to be paid for this time.
In addition to federal protections, many states have laws that protect employees’ rights to fair pay. For example, the Kansas Wage Payment Act protects employees from wrongful deductions, and the Kansas Minimum Wage Maximum Hours Law affords overtime and wage protections in addition to the FLSA. Even if you are exempt under the FLSA, you may have additional protections under your state law.
In general, employers may not discriminate against employees based on their age, sex/gender, race, pregnancy, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, military status, marital status, or disability. This rule may also apply to supervisors, depending on the situation. If you have been discriminated against due to age, gender, pregnancy, national religion, sexual orientation, military status, marital status or disability, you may be entitled to protection under the law.
If you have been wrongfully fired by your employer, you may be entitled to relief. For example, if you complained of illegal conduct or other activities, you may be entitled to protections under the law. In addition, you may have other claims, such as wage-related claims, or claims for discrimination and harassment.
Breach of contract claims are claims brought by employees because the employer is not performing their obligations as promised. They may be based on a written or oral agreement, or may be implied by the parties’ actions.