St. Louis Wage and Hour Claims Lawyer
The law requires most employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage as well as overtime pay at time-and-a-half of an employee’s regular rate of pay for work over 40 hours a week. There are certain complex exceptions to this general rule, and the Kennedy Hunt, P.C. specializes in helping individuals determine whether they are covered under federal or state wage and hour laws.
Wage and hour law is very complicated, and it is not uncommon for employers to fail to pay employees all wages due, either intentionally or out of ignorance. For instance, some employers mistakenly believe they can avoid paying the minimum wage or overtime pay by paying an employee a salary or a flat fee rather than by the hour, by misclassifying an employee as “exempt,” by misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor, by “banking” an employee’s time worked in one pay period and applying it to another, by falsifying time records or paychecks, or by forcing the employee to work “off-the-clock.” Likewise, many employees mistakenly believe they are not entitled to overtime compensation if they do not get overtime “pre-approved” by their employer or if they do not complain about the employer’s failure to pay overtime wages.
Unpaid Overtime and Wage and Hour Attorneys Working for You
Entitlement to minimum wage and overtime pay is mostly governed by the nature of an employee’s job duties. For instance, an employer may erroneously believe an employee is “exempt” merely because the employee receives a flat salary, while the employee’s job duties actually qualify the employee for minimum wage and overtime pay. Further, if an employee is given a “1099” and labeled as an “independent contractor” but the employer still exercises significant control over the employee’s work, the employer may have deprived the employee from legally mandated minimum wage and overtime pay.
Employers must pay for all work performed by their employees including any work performed “off-the-clock.” “Off-the-clock” work may include tasks performed before clocking in or after clocking out such as preparation and clean up, dressing in required clothing or safety gear, and traveling between work sites. Such work may also include “on call” time and time spent attending work meetings or trainings.
It is also illegal for employers to require employees to work during breaks or meal periods without pay. If an employee works through the break, the employer may be required to pay the employee for some or all of the break period. Further, an employer cannot dock an employee’s pay for short rest breaks even if the employee performed no work during the short break. An employer is only allowed to deduct breaks or meal periods lasting 30 minutes or longer from an employee’s pay so long as the employee is fully relieved from their work duties during the entire break period.
Employees seeking unpaid wages may file suit as individuals or as part of a class or collective action. In addition to recovery of unpaid wages, an employee who successfully files suit for unpaid wages may be able to recover double the amount of the total unpaid wages in liquidated damages. Our firm is experienced in filing cases on behalf of individuals and classes of individuals who wish to recover their unpaid wages.
Federal Fair Labor Standards Act Attorneys in St. Louis
The Kennedy Hunt, P.C. practices in the following Missouri locations: St. Louis city, St. Louis County, St. Charles County. In Illinois: Alton, Belleville, Bloomington, Collinsville, Columbia, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Fairmont City, Fairview Heights, Granite City, O’Fallon, Springfield, Waterloo.
If you believe your minimum wage or overtime compensation rights have been violated, call the Kennedy Hunt, P.C. so we can evaluate your claim.