My hours worked and wages paid don’t add up. What are my rights?

You deserve fair and correct payment for the work you do.

With the economy still in recovery from one of the greatest recessions to date, many businesses find themselves attempting to cut costs in whatever way possible. Unfortunately, less scrupulous businesses have managed to do this at the expense of their employees by incorrectly paying hard earned wages and salaries. If you believe your employer is paying you inaccurately, then it is important to know that you do have rights and an experienced employment attorney can assist you in exercising them.

At the federal level, employees in the United States are protected by labor laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Occupational Safety Health Act (OSHA). In regards to wages and salaries, the FLSA covers an array of employment related rights related to wages, hours worked, and overtime. For example, an employer is required by federal law to pay eligible employees overtime wages when they have worked in excess of 40 hours within a week or 8 hours within a day. Overtime pay is regarded as one and a half times the rate of regular pay.

It is important to note that federal laws regarding overtime pay are limited to those who are deemed eligible for such protection. So, who is not covered under FLSA overtime laws? Based on individual job requirements, those employed in executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales positions are generally excluded from overtime protection laws. Businesses often misclassify employees in order to get around these laws, so it is important to determine whether or not your job duties accurately fit your job classification. A qualified attorney will be able to assess whether or not you are qualified for overtime protection.

Employment laws vary by state, so find out what rights your state has in place for employees. In the state of Texas, employee rights are protected under the Texas Labor Code, the Texas Payday Law, and the Texas Minimum Wage Act. Many of the rights initiated by these laws are applicable to both hourly and salaried employees, so do not assume that you are ineligible for legal protection simply because you earn a set annual salary. For example, all Texas employers are required to pay their employees all wages owed, on time, and at regular intervals.

Some employers have capitalized on hiring undocumented workers based on the ability to pay them significantly lower wages. Be aware of the fact that employee rights protected under laws like the FLSA are applicable to everyone working within the U.S., even undocumented workers.

At a time when many are still feeling the financial burden of a recovering economy, one can see why so many businesses are seeking ways to cut costs and stay afloat. Regardless, employers are still required to compensate employees fairly and there is legal protection in place should any employer fails to abide by these laws. Contact a qualified civil and commercial litigation attorney who is well versed in federal and state wage laws to ensure that your rights to fair compensation are fully exercised.

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