Unpaid Wages Resulting From Job Misclassification

The way in which an employee is classified can have a major impact on the rights of that employee. Oftentimes, we hear about cases where employers have misclassified employees as independent contractors, thereby avoiding the many costly benefits they should be providing those employees. This is illegal and the company will be subjected to fines and required to pay compensation if they are caught. However, even misclassifying an employee as the wrong type of employee can have serious consequences for that worker.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets requirements for things such as the federal minimum wage and overtime pay. But not every employee is covered by the legal requirements of this act. If an employer misclassifies an employee as exempt from the FLSA when they are in fact nonexempt, this can prevent the employee from being properly compensated for his or her work.

If you are the victim of employment discrimination, contact one of the seasoned employment discrimination lawyers at Stern Law, PLLC today.  We will take the time to review your case, discuss your options, and help you to make informed decisions from start to finish.  Call (844) 808-7529 now – don’t wait, as your time to file may be limited.

How do I know if I should be covered by the FLSA requirements?

There are many types of employees who are exempt from the FLSA requirements. This includes salaried workers, but typically only those who make a fairly high salary, around $100,000 annually. Executive employees and administrative employees are likewise exempt, as are many employees in jobs requiring specialized higher level education, such as doctors and lawyers. There are also certain workers such as live in caregivers for the elderly or infirm, and workers in the transportation industry who are exempt.

Additionally, only companies with sales of or above $500,000 dollars, or who are engaged in interstate commerce are required to comply with the FLSA. However, it is rare that a company will not be considered to be engaged in some form of interstate commerce, so most places of business must comply with the FLSA.

What are some ways that an employee might suffer from unpaid wages as a result of being misclassified?

If an employer classifies an employee as being exempt from the FLSA when they really should be covered by it, that will mean that the employee will likely not be getting paid overtime pay for his or her work beyond 40 hours in a workweek.

We can imagine a scenario where an unethical employer provides an employee with a “promotion” that would give them a title suggesting they are in a an administrative role, when they are not in fact, and then pay them a salary that would equal what their hourly wages would have been, and nothing more. In this case, the employer could deny the employee overtime pay, arguing that the employee was not entitled to that pay because of his or her new role. The employee could then end up working considerably more hours, without being compensated for the extra time. In a particularly bad case, they could even end up with their salary not even equaling the minimum wage based on what they would get at an hourly rate because of the extra unpaid hours of work.

In this scenario, the misclassification of the employee would cost him or her the time and a half they would be owed for overtime work, and possibly more.

What should I do if I believe I have been a victim of unpaid wages because of job misclassification?

If you believe you have been misclassified by your employer and are suffering from unpaid wages as a result, you should contact an attorney. If your employer is found liable, they will be responsible for compensating you with back pay for the unpaid work that you did, and sometimes for additional compensation.

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At Stern Law, PLLC, we have compassionate and caring attorneys ready to work with you to find the best solution to your employment law related legal issues. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 for a free consolation with an experienced employment attorney.

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