Washington DC Wage and Hour Lawyer

Are you concerned that you are missing part of your paycheck because of unpaid overtime or minimum wage violations? Or is your employer paying you as an independent contractor even though they control your work?

For these and other concerns about how you are being paid, a seasoned Washington DC wage and hour lawyer can advise you about your employment rights. A qualified FLSA attorney can also assess whether you may be owed compensation for unpaid wages or other violations.

Types of Wage and Hour Violations

It is all too common for some employers to take shortcuts when it comes to paying their workers. Sometimes this happens when an employer fails to pay overtime in compliance with the law. Another example is making employees work off the clock or otherwise refusing to pay for all compensable time. For example, in certain types of jobs, preparatory work such as putting on required safety equipment must be paid.

A common tactic in some business is to call employees “independent contractors” to avoid legal requirements. The list of wage violations goes on and on – for an assessment of their particular situations, employees should consult a trained professional with experience in DC wage and hour laws.

DC Wage and Hour Laws

Numerous federal and local laws protect DC employees. One of the most important of these is federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA applies to most employers and sets a nationwide minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Fortunately for DC workers, the DC Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016 mandates a higher minimum wage for most employees in the District. Beginning July 1, 2018, DC’s minimum hourly wage is $13.25 and will rise again in 2019 and 2020 until it reaches $15.00 per hour.

FLSA also requires that covered employees receive time-and-a-half overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. This overtime rate is based on an employee’s “regular rate,” which is usually just their hourly wage.

Calculation of the regular rate can be complex for workers paid a fixed salary, by commission, or on a piecework basis. For some workers, unpaid overtime can be a serious violation and lead to significant shortfalls in their pay.

Even small violations add up over time, especially when a large number of employees are affected by the same problem. A skilled Washington DC wage and hour lawyer can help employees understand whether they may be owed unpaid overtime.

Pursuing Damages in Wage and Hour Cases

Employees can pursue claims for wage and hour violations in a number of ways. In general, cases for FLSA violations can be brought either directly in court by filing a civil lawsuit or can be initiated through an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor. Employees can also pursue certain claims for DC minimum wage violations and other local laws with the DC Office of Wage-Hour Compliance.

FLSA allows for the recovery of out-of-pocket economic losses plus attorneys’ fees and court costs for violations of its overtime or minimum wage guarantees. In addition, those damages may be doubled where there is proof that the employer acted willfully. This additional amount is called “liquidated damages” and is intended to punish and deter employers who intentionally skirt the law.

All cases differ, however, so getting experienced and personalized legal advice is always advised for employees who want to fully understand their options.

Getting Help from a Washington DC Wage and Hour Attorney

Getting professional advice from a knowledgeable employment lawyer can be critical to pursuing any wage and hour case. When considering a lawyer, make sure that they have specific experience with wage and hour cases. It can be a costly mistake to hire a lawyer who does not have a strong background in this complex area of law. Getting the right lawyer can be key to pursuing a strong a successful case.

A Washinton DC wage and hour lawyer can assist you in a number of ways. After meeting with you, your lawyer can identify the wage laws that your employer may have violated, potentially including some violations of which you were not aware.

A lawyer can also give you an honest assessment of the strengths or weaknesses of your case, help you calculate the damages you may be able to recover and suggest actions you could take to recover for those losses. For more information about how a wage and hour lawyer can help you, contact an attorney today.