If you work a job for an hourly wage, there are many employment laws that your employer is required to follow. Unfortunately, not all employers always follow all the legal regulations required in wage and hour laws, and often in these cases it is the employees who end up getting taken advantage of.
There are several ways that employers may violate wage and hour laws to maximize their profit or work around regulations that cost them money. However, these violations are not legal, and as an employee, you do have rights. It is important for you to understand your legal rights under the law when it comes to your job and pay, as well as what steps you can take if you believe your employer is violating the law.
What the law requires
Employers are required to follow federal and state regulations that govern employee rights. On the federal law level, the Fair Labor Standards Act, also known as FLSA, regulates wages, pay and benefits. The FLSA provides umbrella regulations that apply to all states, and individual states have additional labor laws. For example, FLSA requires that overtime pay, which is 1.5 times your regular hourly wage, be given to hourly employees for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week. In terms of hourly wage rates, however, Florida state law sets the amount.
What to do if you suspect you are being underpaid
If an employer pays you less than the state-regulated minimum wage, does not pay you overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 per week, withholds tips, or makes you work off the clock, these are just a few examples of how you can be underpaid. If you suspect your employer is violating labor law, you should not stay silent. Even though you may fear your job is at risk, your rights are protected under the law. An employer does not have the legal right to act against you for reporting labor law violations.
It can be difficult to confront your employer about issues in which you suspect he or she may be violating the law. This is a situation in which you should consult with an employment law attorney who can help you understand your case and advise you about the best way to proceed.