An employer sometimes cuts corners or tries to be creative in paying workers what they are owed. A company might promise you time off on some future date in exchange for working overtime now—but not come through on its offer. It might withhold payroll taxes from your paycheck but keep the money instead of remitting it to the government.

A company must pay its workers appropriately or else it is violating your rights. When your employer is not paying you what you are owed, it should be investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and compelled to make good. Do not succumb to pressure or intimidation. Mitchell Feldman, an experienced employment attorney at the Feldman Legal Group, could explain how to get the most out of a Tampa wage and hour violation case and seek comprehensive compensation on your behalf.

Understand Your Employment Status

The Department of Labor offers other suggestions for ensuring an employer treats its workers fairly.

Because it is cheaper for the company, an employer sometimes misclassifies a worker as an independent contractor: Independent contractors pay their own taxes, so employers do not have to withhold those taxes or match them. This incorrect status could negatively affect an employee’s Social Security benefits at retirement; it could also put them at risk of strangling debt if they are hurt or become ill and so cannot take advantage of the company’s health insurance or workers’ compensation.

A worker should not reply on the company to determine their employment status; instead, they should ask themself:

  • If they are reimbursed for their expenses
  • If their relationship with the company is temporary or permanent
  • If the work they perform for the company is integral to the business
  • If they or the company determines what the job is and how it is performed
  • If they receive company benefits such as health insurance and vacation pay
  • If they or the company set the price for a job and provide the tools to perform it

Employers that are caught misclassifying a worker should be held responsible for paying back wages and payroll taxes. Workers who believe they have been misclassified should talk with a Tampa wage and hour violation attorney about how to get the most out of filing a claim.

Keep Records of Your Employment

Another way a worker could maximize their chances in a wage and hour violation claim in Tampa is to keep accurate records of their employment. Payroll records provide a lot of information that can be used when a worker files a lawsuit against their employer. An hourly worker who believes they are being cheated should keep their own records of hours worked and wages paid, including if they are asked to work for a future benefit or expected to work for free to catch up on a project. A worker should also include a schedule of their workweek and an explanation of any deductions from their paycheck.

A worker should also document their roles and responsibilities as an employee. Keeping an accurate record of their duties is important because most hourly workers should be paid time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a week.

At the same time, salaried employees do not have to be paid overtime under Section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Other workers that companies are not required to pay overtime include:

  • Independent contractors
  • Outside sales representatives
  • Some computer-related employees
  • Some transportation and agricultural workers
  • Some employees who are afforded housing, such as nannies and housekeepers

Furthermore, employers cannot average two weeks’ work to make 80 hours if someone worked overtime in one and less than 40 in the other. Nor can employers require an employee to work extra hours one week for comp time down the road, since this practice violates the FLSA.

Maximize Your Wage and Hour Violation Case by Calling a Tampa Attorney

As a worker, you have a right to expect your employer to treat you fairly, especially when it comes to being compensated for your labor. You should get paid what the company agreed to pay you, including overtime if you are not exempt. When you believe your employer is violating wage and hour laws, contact knowledgeable employment attorney Mitchell Feldman at the Feldman Legal Group for guidance. He could explain how to get the most out of a Tampa wage and hour violation case and help you get the payments you deserve.