Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal statute that sets minimum requirements to which employers must adhere regarding working conditions for their employees. These standards include provisions regarding minimum wage, overtime pay and hours, record-keeping requirements, and the employment of minors. When employers violate the rights of workers under the FLSA, they should be held liable for their unlawful practices, similar to when they engage in discriminatory or retaliatory actions. Birmingham FLSA lawyer Will Beckum assists employees who have been subjected to unfair employment conditions with taking legal action against their employers or former employers. He fights aggressively on behalf of employees to ensure that their rights are protected. If your employer has engaged in illegal wage and hour practices, and you have questions about your legal options, contact Beckum Law today to find out how we can help.Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
Some states have their own labor laws regarding wage and hour standards. However, Alabama has no such separate law addressing these issues, so any claim disputing fair treatment must be filed under the FLSA. The FLSA classifies covered employees as either “exempt” or “nonexempt.” Exempt employees are those who earn a yearly salary of $23,600, performing certain enumerated exempt job functions outlined in the FLSA. Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay. People classified as independent contractors, rather than employees, because they often work for more than one company and retain full control over their hours and workload, are not covered under the FLSA. Employers must, however, pay nonexempt employees for overtime hours worked and pay wages that at least adhere to federal minimums.
The FLSA stipulates that nonexempt employees who work over 40 hours in a single work week are to be paid one and a half times their regular pay rate. A work week refers to either a fixed, regular period of 168 hours, or seven consecutive periods of time that are 24 hours each. Employees are “working” for the purposes of the FLSA if they are on the employer’s property, or on duty elsewhere on assignment by an employer. A FLSA attorney can assist Birmingham residents with determining whether this term covers them. Holidays and weekends are not subject to overtime pay requirements, unless both the employer and the employee agree that they are. Effective as of July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage that employers must pay nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour.
When employers fail to pay employees covered by the FLSA proper minimum wage or overtime, a claim can be brought against them via a complaint with the Department of Labor, or by filing a private civil action. Complaints are required to be filed within two years of the alleged FLSA violation, unless the violation was willful, in which case a complaint can be filed within three years. Additionally, even employees who have signed waivers or severance agreements have rights to overtime pay under the FLSA, and they may still pursue action with the assistance of a Birmingham FLSA attorney when their rights have been violated. Employees who are successful in their FLSA claims are entitled to back pay for wages and overtime for the two years before the complaint was filed. Employees may also be entitled to liquidated damages, or reimbursement for expenses and attorneys’ fees. The decision to take action against an employer is often difficult, even if you know that you are entitled to fair treatment. Consulting an experienced attorney who can advocate on your behalf is important to your success.Retain an Experienced FLSA Lawyer in the Birmingham Area
Employers should not be able to take advantage of those who work for them by denying them proper pay. Attorney William Beckum fights for employees’ rights in wage and hour claims, as well as cases involving workplace discrimination or sexual harassment. Beckum Law serves residents of Alabama cities such as Birmingham, Vestavia Hills, Bessemer, Prattville, Montgomery, Cullman, Pell City, Pelham, Sylacauga, and Tuscaloosa. If you need legal assistance regarding a violation of your rights as an employee under the FLSA, or with any other employment law matter, contact our office online or at 205-588-0699 to discuss your legal options.