Articles Posted in Minimum Wage Violations

On Friday the U.S. Labor Department defended its authority to use salary levels to decide who was eligible for overtime pay.

Under U.S. President Donald Trump, the Labor Department has continued to fight a challenge to an Obama administration-era rule to raise the pay threshold for overtime eligibility.

The Labor Department told a federal appeals court on Friday it had the power to use salaries to set thresholds for mandatory overtime pay, without advocating for the $47,500 maximum salary level set by the department under Obama.

The Labor Department is challenging a November decision from a federal judge in Texas that blocked the Obama rule, a decision that the department said could prevent it from setting a new threshold below that set by the Obama administration.

The Obama rule was expected to extend overtime pay eligibility to more than 4 million salaried workers. Nevada and 20 other states sued last year to block the rule.

Business groups criticized the increase as too drastic and costly, potentially forcing employers to convert salaried workers to hourly wages.

Trump’s Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta said during his confirmation hearing in March that the correct threshold might be around $33,000. The Labor Department took initial steps earlier this week to begin developing a new threshold.

In its Friday brief to the New Orleans-based 5th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, the Labor Department made it clear it did not support the salary threshold developed under Obama. The department then told the court it was “reluctant” to move forward with the rulemaking necessary to set a new threshold as long as its authority was in question.

Nevada and the other states have said that the use of a salary threshold to determine overtime eligibility has been controversial for decades, but appeals courts allowed it because it had been set low enough to exempt management workers.

According to the states,  the Obama administration rule is far more drastic, expanding overtime pay to tens of thousands of state employees.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), most employees must be paid at least minimum wage for regular work hours and receive overtime pay when total weekly hours reach more than 40. The state of Florida follows the overtime rules of the FLSA, time and one half regular pay rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a regular work week. Overtime can be calculated by taking your regular rate of pay and multiplying it by 1.5.

As it stands currently, job titles do not determine eligibility for overtime pay. Wages, duties and occupations decipher whether one can be paid overtime. Right now, any employee that makes a yearly salary of less than $23,600 can be awarded overtime pay. Non-management employees performing manual labor or repair, secretarial, kitchen or clerical work are usually entitled to collecting overtime pay. With several exceptions, all hourly paid employees should be entitled to overtime. Most commission-based workers can be awarded overtime as well. Salaried employees that earn less than $455 per week are entitled to overtime. Salaried employees that earn more than $455 per workweek can receive overtime unless their job duties earn them exemption like executive, professional, administrative, outside sales or computer-related occupations.

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A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit accusing the NFL and team owners of conspiring to suppress wages for cheerleaders lacks evidence to support that claim.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed the lawsuit by a former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader. The lawsuit sought class action status on behalf of all NFL cheerleaders.

The lawsuit was among a spate of legal actions in recent years accusing NFL teams of failing to pay cheerleaders for hours they spent practicing and making public appearances.

California legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown two years ago requires cheerleaders receive at least minimum wage and overtime and sick leave if they work for professional sports teams based in California.

The lawsuit before Alsup claimed that cheerleaders received only a flat, per-game fee. It also said the NFL and its teams conspired to prohibit cheerleaders from seeking employment with other professional cheerleading teams and from discussing their earnings with each other.

Alsup said he would expect at least some evidence to support a conspiracy on the scale alleged in the lawsuit — possibly a former NFL employee coming forward to “provide the details of ‘who, did what, to whom (or with whom), where, and when’ regarding some actual conspiratorial meeting, communication or agreement.”

The lawsuit, instead, alleges similar policies for cheerleaders among NFL teams, Alsup said. The judge said those policies could just as easily have been implemented by each team independently.

This case is certainly interesting. The cheerleaders allegedly only made about $100 per game and, in many cases, were not paid for mandatory public events or rehearsal time. In stark contrast, NFL players collectively earned $6.4 billion last year while NFL team mascots annually make between $25,000 and $60,000, often with benefits.

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The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to pay $3.8 million in back wages to Florida workers for violating minimum wage and overtime laws as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The federal agency said last month that the back wages will be paid to more than 16,000 workers at the Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Florida.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division says Disney deducted uniform expenses that caused some workers’ hourly wages to fall below the federal minimum wage.

The division also says Disney didn’t pay workers for duties performed before their shifts started and after their shifts ended.

The agency says Disney cooperated with their investigation.

By law, employees must be rightfully compensated for the services and labor they provide to an employer. Even salaried workers may be entitled to overtime pay, depending on the circumstances. Our Florida Unpaid Wage & Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you understand if you can collect any wages that you believe are owed to you.

We can help if you are seeking back pay for any of the following:

  • Illegal wage deductions
  • Violation of minimum wage laws
  • Unpaid overtime, bonuses, and tips
  • Delay in paychecks

When it comes to unpaid wages, it is best to keep a detail record of what your employer owes you. Your employer should keep their own records of hours employees worked and their wages. If your employer cannot provide these records to dispute your claims, then a court is more likely to side with the employee.

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will pay $140,000 to 185 interns who worked for their fashion brand to settle a wage theft lawsuit filed in 2015, according to court documents filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

Each intern will receive a $530 payment from the former child star twins and the rest of the money will cover lawyers’ fees, if approved by a judge.

The 31-year-old sisters are worth more than $300 million.

The former interns, who filed the suit against the Olsens’ Dualstar Entertainment company, claimed that they should have been paid minimum wage plus overtime, because they were doing the kind of work their paid colleagues had done but without compensation.

 

One of the unpaid interns said she clocked 50 hours a week between May 2012 and September 2012 at the company. Her responsibilities included inputting data into spreadsheets, making tech sheets, running personal errands for paid employees, organizing materials, cleaning, photocopying and sewing, according to court documents.

The Olsens founded Dualstar when they were just 6. The company makes everything from videos, books and dolls to cosmetics and clothes. They started their fashion brand The Row in 2006.

All employees have a right to be paid at least minimum wage for the work they perform. In Florida, the current minimum wage is $8.10. Unpaid internships get a little tricky in the eyes of the law. The United States Department of Labor has set the following criteria for unpaid internships:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If every single one of the factors listed above are met, an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the intern.

If you are currently an unpaid intern, or have completed an unpaid internship, and you think you are/were an actual employee, our Florida Unpaid Wage & Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We will investigate the facts of your case and if we feel you have a valid claim, we will push to get you the fair financial compensation you deserve.

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Two Polk County residents said that they were not adequately compensated by a restaurant during their employment.

The two filed a complaint on behalf of all others similarly situated on Jan. 25 in the Tampa Division of the Middle District of Florida against Lakeland Chophouse LLC, doing business as Manny’s Original Chophouse.

According to the complaint, the two allege that they worked for more than 40 hours without being paid any overtime compensation during their employment. They hold Lakeland Chophouse LLC, doing business as Manny’s Original Chophouse, responsible because they also failed to pay minimum wages to the two employees and failed to keep an accurate record of their working hours.

It is actually common for employers to violate minimum wage and overtime laws when paying restaurant workers and tipped employees. The most frequent violations are:

  • Failing to give workers a paycheck. Some employers do not pay any wages and their servers work solely for tips. This is a violation of the FLSA.
  • Not paying minimum wage. Your employer must pay you minimum wage. Minimum wage is currently $8.10 an hour. For tipped employees, the minimum wage is $5.08 with a tip credit maximum of $3.02. However, if this $5.08 lower minimum wage plus the tips the employee actually earns doesn’t add up to at least the full state minimum wage ($8.10), the employer must make up the difference.
  • Making you share your tips with employees who do not receive tips. Your employer cannot legally make you share tips with managers, dishwashers, cooks, chefs, or janitors.
  • Requiring you to give a portion of your tips to the employer. An employer cannot legally keep any portion of your tips.
  • Not paying overtime for hours worked over 40 in a workweek or only paying time-and-a-half of the server rate and not the full minimum wage.
  • Making you work off the clock. An employer cannot make you perform any work duties without pay.

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A Clermont resident formerly employed as a server at Outback Steakhouse alleges he was not paid minimum wage.

The man filed a complaint on Jan. 12 in the 5th Judicial Circuit of Florida – Lake County against OS Restaurant Services LLC, doing business as Outback Steakhouse, alleging violation of the Florida Minimum Wage Act.

According to the complaint, the man says that he suffered damages from being paid wages at the rate less than the minimum wage. He holds the restaurant responsible because they allegedly failed to pay him the proper minimum wage and instead improperly used a tip credit.

The man requests a trial by jury and seeks liquidated damages, all unpaid wages, interest, all legal fees and any other relief as this court deems just.

In the state of Florida, the tip credit is $3.02 an hour, which means Florida employers may pay tipped employees as little as $5.08 an hour. However, if this lower minimum wage plus the tips the employee earns does not add up to at least the full state minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. The minimum wage in Florida is $8.10 per hour.

Wage and hour cases can be complex, which is why our Florida Minimum Wage Violations Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to speak with us right away if you think you have a case. If you are being cheated out of minimum wage, let us help you. Call us immediately at 866-608-5529 to understand your legal rights because you have limited amount of time to take action, and if you wait too long, you may lose your right to file a lawsuit.

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