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Unpaid Wages Attorney

Unpaid Wages? Protect Your Employee Rights

Lawyers like the ones at Leeds Brown Law, PC, assist employees in New York State and throughout the US when employers are withholding their pay.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the national law that protects the rights of employees. The FLSA addresses issues like the lawful minimum wage and overtime requirements. States like New York, , can have their own laws and regulations addressing wages and hours within their borders, but they cannot narrow the provisions of the FLSA.

There is no question that, according to the laws, wages are the property of the employees who earn them. Wage theft takes place when businesses don’t pay their employees the wages the law requires and what the employees fully earn. Unpaid tips, neglecting to pay for overtime or paying a lesser amount than minimum wage are all considered wage theft. When companies withhold money like this, workers have the right to recover their wages.

Our firm has represented thousands of hard-working people like you. When employers divert pay, we help workers collect their money. Companies frequently violate wage and hour regulations. It is the workers who suffer. Employers violate wage regulations a lot more than most people know. Safeguard your rights by being familiar with them. We can give you advice about filing an unpaid wage lawsuit. Consult with an unpaid wage attorney at Leeds Brown to file a claim and begin the process of reclaiming your lost pay.

The New York Unpaid Wage and Overtime Lawyers at Leeds Brown Law, P.C. are ready to take your call. Whenever your employer refuses to pay you for overtime labor or steals your gratuities, our lawyers can help you recover these and other earnings your employer owes.

Workers Can File Claims Against Employers for Minimum Wage Violations

$7.25 per hour is the current minimum wage under the FLSA. Our minimum wage in New York is significantly higher than $7.25 an hour via the New York State Minimum Wage Act. The state minimum wage is expected to keep rising in modest increments for several years. Luckily for workers, if they’re governed by more than a single minimum wage rate, the higher one controls.

Employees frequently do not get compensated for all their time. This sometimes means you’re being paid well beneath the minimum wage if your work time had been correctly considered. For example, if your boss pays you a hypothetical minimum wage of $5.00 per hour for 35 hours of labor, your wages should be $175.00. But, if you, in fact, work 40 hours and your employer pays you $175.00, your hourly rate decreases to $4.37 which is beneath that minimum wage. Workers in many cases are pressured to just accept below minimum wage because their employers know they would like to keep their jobs. Either way, employees are legitimately entitled to get the total amount of minimum wage for the time spent doing work.

Unpaid Overtime Results in Wage Lawsuits

Companies must compensate employees for all their work time. Hours worked over 40 during a workweek are classified as overtime. Workers should receive a premium whenever they work extra time. The rules state that overtime compensation is one-and-a-half times the normal level of wages. For example, if you earn $10.00 an hour, your overtime rate should be $15.00 an hour. For example, if you earn $10,00 and hour, and you work 42 hours, you should be compensated for those extra two hours at a rate that is 1 ½ times your original pay ($15 an hour, amounting to a total of $30 for overtime work).

Even though the regulations mandate overtime wages, many companies will do anything to get around paying them. Misclassification of workers as exempt under one of the narrow FLSA exclusions is one method. Some others simply just do not pay for additional hours their employees work citing “reasons” which have absolutely no merit. “Overtime needs to be authorized” is a reason companies often give for not paying employees. Several businesses claim that they don’t need to pay for mandatory training or meetings. Not counting all workers’ work time is a method of “shaving hours”. This is one way employeers cheat employees out of overtime money.

Declining to pay employees overtime breaks laws. Employers that are responsible may have to pay their employees many years of back pay and other damages. Companies might also be forced to pay liquidated damages, lawyers’ fees, and civil penalties.

Gratuities Are Wages That Belong to Employees

If you are working in the food service or hospitality business, chances are you have already been impacted by tip theft. Gratuities are wages and belong to workers. No owner or manager of a restaurant, pub, catering hall, hotel or any other eating or drinking establishment may retain gratuities for themselves. At times, employers require employees to join tip pools which include workers not permitted to be given tips. The only workers legally able to take part in tip pools are those who routinely get gratuities. For example, line cooks, dishwashers, and prep cooks may not participate in tip pools with waiters, waitresses, and bartenders.

Tips left on charge cards are subjected to deductions. In New York State, businesses may take pro-rated portions of gratuities left on credit cards to help cover whatever transaction fee is charged by the credit company. Some businesses owners use the money subtracted from these tips paid on credit cards for themselves when that money should be given it to the credit card issuers.

There are other protections for hotel, catering, and restaurant employees under New York State law. For instance, when catering halls add services charges to invoices for large functions or catered events, there is many times a presumption that the money goes to the employees as a gratuity. Explicit notice has to be given to customers before the business owners are allowed to pocket service charges. The employers must notify customers specifically that the service charges are not gratuities. If businesses don’t supply the right notice, workers may have the legal right to collect that money.

There are also tip-credit regulations that permit employers to pay tipped employees lower than the regular minimum wage for their hourly rate. Misapplying tip credits is quite common because the regulations associated with them are confusing. Unfortunately, workers are the people that lose, getting a lesser amount of pay than their employers are obligated to pay.

Helping Workers Collect Earnings When Businesses Won’t Pay

Consider the many ways that companies take wages. Outright legal infractions are not unheard of, such as declining to pay for overtime the FLSA mandates. Often, employers use tips incorrectly either keeping them or misapplying tip credits. Businesses might also ignore the 10 minutes spent each day on the property getting the workspace ready for action. Even if wage and hour violations appear small, wage theft can significantly impact employees as time goes by.

Your manager, human resources division or payroll department may be able to help you remedy minor issues you discover. It’s possible the problem was caused by a clerical mix up or simple oversight. Somebody may be able to take care of the issue easily. When your employer has official guidelines you should comply with them.

Contact Us to File Claims to Recover Unpaid Wages

If you can’t sort out the problems, think about talking to Leeds Brown, experienced unpaid wage attorneys representing people in  the New York City metropolitan area, New York State and across the nation. Wages belong to employees. You have rights that we can help enforce. If your employer retaliates against you due to your unpaid wage lawsuit, we can also help with this. Your employer is forbidden from firing, demoting, or threatening you for asserting your rights.


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