McAllen Office: 3900 N. 10th St., Suite 850 McAllen, TX 78501
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Michael M. Guerra
2011 A Thompson Reuters service printed in Texas Monthly

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA), most employers are required to pay their hourly employees a minimum hourly wage. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. The FLSA also generally requires most employers to pay their employees overtime or "time-and-a-half" for all hours worked in excess of forty hours in a workweek.
Some common areas where employers violate the FLSA include:
  • Failing to pay salaried employees overtime - although many salaried employees are exempt from the FLSA, just because you are paid a salary does not necessarily mean you are not entitled to overtime pay;
  • Switching hourly employees to salaried employees without any change in job duties;
  • Treating employees as independent contractors by paying them their regular hourly rate for all hours worked instead of "time-and-a-half" for overtime hours;
  • Requiring tipped employees (e.g., wait staff, bartenders, etc.) to share their tips with management or with non-tipped employees (e.g., kitchen staff, food prep workers, etc.);
  • Requiring tipped employees to pay for walked tabs, glass or dish breakages, mis-pours, etc.;
  • Requiring employees to work "off the clock";
  • Altering employee time sheets to reduce the number of hours worked in a week;
  • Requiring employees to arrive early to perform work-related tasks but not allowing them to clock in, or requiring employees to stay after they have clocked out to perform work-related tasks;
  • Averaging hours worked over periods longer than a week or basing overtime pay on a period other than a single week (e.g., only paying overtime after 80 hours worked in a two-week period);
  • Giving employees "comp time" off in a following week instead of overtime pay for overtime hours worked;
  • Automatically deducting whether the employee actually takes a lunch or not;
  • Allowing employees to work overtime hours and then denying them overtime pay because the work was not previously approved by management
If your employer has wrongfully denied you proper minimum wage or overtime pay, the law presumes that you are entitled to double the amount you should have been paid. The FLSA also prohibits your employer from retaliating against you for in any way for standing up for your rights under the FLSA. You must act quickly, though. Strict time limits apply to the amount of unpaid wages you can go back and recover. If you believe you may have a minimum wage or overtime issue, the attorneys of the Law Offices of Michael M. Guerra can help you determine your rights and maximize your recovery of unpaid wages.
 
 
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