Wage & Hour Claims

When it comes to compensating employees, there are numerous requirements, as well as traps. An honest mistake can lead to big liability.

Overview

An employee may file a claim under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) claiming that they are not receiving the adequate amount of overtime pay, or that they were paid less than minimum wage. They may also claim that they were not paid for “off-the-clock” work, that they were misclassified as independent contractors, or that they were not properly reimbursed for expenses.

Claims might be filed by an individual employee, or they can be filed on behalf of numerous employees as collective action (under the FLSA) or a class action (under the IMWL).

Many times, these “wage & hour” claims are the result of the employer’s honest mistake. For example, an employee may be exempt from overtime if they are administrative, executive, professional, outside sales, or highly compensated employees. However, the governing regulations do not define these categories of exempt employees in a way that is intuitive. Further, an employee can lose exempt status if the employer makes improper deductions that cause the employee’s salary to fall below what was guaranteed. The FLSA also sets forth certain occupations that can never be exempt from its overtime provisions.

Further, an Illinois employee can file a claim under the Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA) alleging that they are not being paid in accordance with their employment agreement with or the terms of the Act. The WPCA also sets forth requirements for the following:

  • Timing for paying employees
  • Method of paying employees (check, cash, direct deposit, etc.)
  • Taking deductions from employees’ paychecks
  • Notifying employees of rate, time and place of payment of wages
  • Record keeping with regard to employee files

Under all of these labor law statutes, an employee will likely be entitled to attorneys’ fees and additional penalties if your company is found liable. These damages can become very high, very quickly.

ASG Law can help prevent, and if necessary, defend wage and hour claims.