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Minimum Wage

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires all employers pay workers a minimum wage for every hour they work. Despite this law it is estimated that three million U.S. workers are not paid minimum wage. Our attorneys routinely fight for employees to ensure they receive the pay to which they are entitled. If you are due wages or overtime, contact our attorneys.

Minimum wage and overtime pay are governed by the FLSA. If employers violate these provisions they can be held liable for double damages and responsible for all attorney fees.

Currently, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Most hourly employees working more than 40 hours per week are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular amount’s pay. Unfortunately, we have seen common schemes by employers to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime pay.


Misclassifying Employees as Exempt

Some employees are exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA. As such, an employer will often give a fancy title to employees and pay a salary so that they are exempt from overtime. However, what is important in determining if a job is exempt are the job requirements and not the title of the job.

The following employees ARE exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay laws:

  • Executive, administrative, and professional employees
  • Seamen employed on foreign vessels
  • Learned professionals
  • Highly compensated employees performing office work
  • Employees engaged in fishing operations
  • Employees engaged in newspaper delivery
  • Farm workers employed on small farms
  • Casual babysitters and persons employed as companions to the elderly

The following employees ARE NOT exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay laws:

  • Clerks performing clerical duties
  • Bookkeepers
  • Valets
  • Cooks
  • Correctional Officers
  • Factory Line Workers
  • Construction Workers
  • Electricians
  • Roofers
  • Nurses and Registered Nurses
  • Maintenance Workers
  • Security Guards
  • Hotel Staff
  • Inside sales people in retail, wholesale, or service establishments

Working off the clock: This happens when an employee is required to clock out even though he or she still has work to perform. This often happens when a manager makes an employee clock out to finish work that he claims should have been completed during the day.

Automatic deduction of meal time: Some companies will automatically subtract a meal time regardless of whether the employee takes a meal break. This can be a violation of minimum wage and overtime laws.

Short Changing Hours-Deducting Short Breaks: Although the FLSA requires an employer to give rest breaks to employees, most employers give short breaks to increase worker safety and productivity.

If a break is less than 20 minutes, it cannot be deducted from pay and must be compensated.

Classifying Employees as Independent Contractors: Another scam is the wrongful classification of an employee as an independent contractor. Because the FLSA only applies to employees, some employers wrongly designate workers as contractors thereby attempting to avoid the overtime and minimum wage laws.

FLSA has a very broad definition of "employee." Courts use several tests to determine if a worker is actually an independent contractor. The two very common tests are the "right of control" test and the "economic reality" test. These tests use several factors to determine whether the worker is an employee or an independent contractor. These factors can include whether they provide their own tools, are free to work for other employees, schedule their own hours, are free to hire their own helpers, and supervise how the job is performed.

If you believe you are owed wages or overtime pay, please  contact our office. We have Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Texas Employment Lawyers. We have handled cases throughout the country and we can help you obtain the earnings that you deserve.

Client Reviews
When my mother was neglected in a nursing home I was referred to The Higgins Firm for help. They did a great job representing my family and obtained a significant settlement. Hopefully, this will keep someone else's parent from being mistreated in the future. Angie S.
I have a large collection practice and don't handle personal injury cases. Instead of simply declining a case, I referred it to The Higgins Firm. They handled everything. My client got a large recovery and I got a large co-counsel fee. The client and I were both very happy. Attorney Bo Melton
The best injury lawyers in Nashville. They represented my son in a car accident case and did an awesome job. James D.