Wage And Hour Violations
Federal and state wage and hour laws protect workers from employer abuses and ensure that employees are fairly paid for their hard work. Wigdor has had numerous cases certified by the courts as class and/or collective actions and has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of working families and employees who were victims of wage violations by fighting tenaciously on their behalf.
Our experienced lawyers aggressively litigate all types of wage and hour violations against corporations including:
- failure to pay minimum wage
- failure to pay overtime
- failure to pay off-the-clock wages
- unlawful withholding (or sharing) of tips and service charges and
- unlawful wage deductions
These cases often involve a complex analysis of statutes, rules, regulations and wage orders from state and federal agencies including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
In a misguided attempt to avoid paying overtime compensation, sometimes employers misclassify their employees as “exempt.” The employees believe that they are not entitled to overtime because they are paid a salary and classified as “exempt.” However, an employee may be entitled to overtime and other recovery even if labeled “exempt.” There are several categories of exemptions, and if you want to learn whether you are appropriately classified, you should speak with a knowledgeable employment attorney.
Additionally, employers sometimes categorize employees as “independent contractors” to avoid compliance with the wage laws, which generally only apply to “employees.” Independent contractors are rarely paid overtime when they work over 40 hours per week and there are often significant reductions in their pay that would be unlawful if they were labeled employees.
Although employers sometimes may try to make it appear as though its employees are “independent contractors,” by having the employees sign independent contractor agreements, this does not necessarily mean that an employee is actually an “independent contractor.” The determination on the status focuses on the relationship between the parties.
If you have been improperly labeled as an independent contractor by your employer, speak with an experienced employment lawyer for advice.
Another common wage violation is employers failing to distribute tips, gratuities and service charges to their employees. Under New York State law, employers cannot keep charges that customers would reasonably expect to be a gratuity for the staff, including mandatory “service charges” that restaurants, banquet halls and caterers charge for events. Wage and hour violations resulting from failure to distribute tips can occur in any industry where tipping is customary beyond restaurants and bars, such as taxi, car service and limousine companies as well as delivery services.
If you believe you may have been subject to unlawful wage violations, consult a wage and hour lawyer for advice.