Washington DC FLSA Lawyer
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains important protections for DC workers, including guarantees of overtime pay and minimum wage for many employees.
For employees who suffer from these and other violations, hiring an experienced employment lawyer can be critical to pursuing compensation for these types of losses. Because of the complexity of employment laws, it is not advised that employees try to pursue a serious case on their own or with an inexperienced attorney.
A Washington DC FLSA lawyer has experience with FLSA and the many other laws that govern the modern workplace and can assess peoples’ cases to help them understand their legal rights. A capable personal injury attorney could advocate for you.
Wage and Hour Laws in DC
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a major federal law that establishes how employers must pay employees. FLSA applies to most employers and establishes a nationwide minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. In Washington, DC, however, the DC Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016 currently sets the minimum wage at $13.25 for most employees in DC.
FLSA also requires that covered employees receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The overtime rate is the 1.5 times the employee’s “regular rate,” which is the hourly wage for many employees. For employees who are paid a fixed salary, by commission, or on a piecework basis, calculation of this rate can be more complex. For some workers, unpaid overtime can be a serious violation and lead to significant losses in their pay. Even seemingly small losses add up over time and lead to significant damage awards in successful lawsuits. A skilled Washington DC FLSA lawyer can be key to exploring options for recovering lost overtime pay and other damages.
Violations of FLSA Laws
There are numerous ways that employers can “nickel and dime” their employees and violate FLSA and other laws. A few of these include:
- Not paying overtime
- Misclassifying employees as “independent contractors”
- Pay reductions (for example, docking of pay for rule violations)
- “Off the clock” work
- Not paying overtime to non-exempt salaried employees
- Retaliation against employees who complain about FLSA violations
A Washington DC FLSA lawyer could help hold an employer responsible for violating these laws.
Many Salaried Employees May Be Owed Overtime Pay
Some employees mistakenly believe that they are exempt and can’t get overtime pay if they are paid a flat salary or have a job title like “supervisor” or “manager.”
Although FLSA includes exemptions for certain higher-level types of work, an employee’s job duties must be primarily professional, administrative or executive to qualify for an exemption. Actual job duties, not title or how wages are paid, determine whether an employee has FLSA rights.
Extensive rules and regulations govern FLSA exemptions, and an employer cannot decide on its own that an employee is exempt simply by paying them a salary and assigning a job title that sounds exempt such as “Sales Manager” or “Executive Assistant.”
Pursuing an FLSA Case in DC
Employees with FLSA claims can either file a case in court or submit an administrative complaint to the federal Department of Labor. An experienced employment lawyer can explain the advantages and disadvantages of these options in a given case.
In some situations, a lawyer may advise someone to sue for damages in court rather than wait for a government agency to investigate. In others, there can be advantages to having the government investigate.
Damages for FLSA violations include lost wages, pre-judgment interest, and attorneys’ fees. A court can also award “liquidated damages” where there is proof that the employer acted willfully in its pay violations. This additional sum is to punish and deter employers who intentionally skirt the law.
As with all legal claims, there are time limits for FLSA cases. An employee with FLSA wage and hour claims must file their case within two years of an alleged violation. In some circumstances, this limit is expanded to three years. These time limits can affect the amount of compensation available to employees, so it is important to get legal advice about wage and hour rights as soon as possible. Delay may mean receiving less compensation or none at all.
How a Washington DC FLSA Attorney Can Help
Workplace issues can be complex. Some problems can be resolved quickly with solid knowledgeable advice while others may require going before a government agency or filing suit in court.
After reviewing your case, your lawyer can assess its strengths and weaknesses, help you calculate potential damages, and advise you about actions you can take to pursue your case.
All cases differ, and strict deadlines apply to many cases, so contact a skilled Washington DC FLSA lawyer today to learn more about how they can help with your case.