While employees work hard to ensure that the company’s revenue increases, the employer makes sure that workers are paid on time and for every extra hour. However, there are a few employers who deny workers their rights and when this happens, a Middletown wage and hour dispute lawyer at Aeton Law can protect the interest and rights of these employees.
As an employee, you need to be aware of your rights so that you do not end up losing both your wages and time. Some of the benefits that you should get while on duty include getting paid for overtime, tips awarded after work, and allowed to work during business hours. If your employer denies you overtime pay or takes too long to clear unpaid wages, get in touch with Aeton Law, and we will review your legal options.
Connecticut Overtime Laws And Exemptions
According to FLSA( Fair Labor Standards Act), an employee has the right to get paid for overtime if he or she has worked for extra hours. Therefore, if you work for more than 40 hours in a single week, you should be paid for overtime. However, this law does not apply to everyone in the workplace. There are a few parties who are considered to be “exempt” and cannot be paid for overtime. This group of people includes CEOs, assistant managers, and independent contractors.
Many employees do their best to get a promotion so that they can get a salary raise once they rank higher at their workplace. But, what most of them fail to understand is that you can get a better title and increased salary but lose all the benefits of being an employee. Moreover, sometimes employers do promote their employees so that they can be part of the “exempt” list and avoid increased overtime payments.
Common Ways Employers Violate Wage And Hour Laws
Employers can violate labor laws through the following methods:
Refusing To Pay Overtime
Some companies do not allow workers to work overtime, while other brands require employees to wait until they are approved to work overtime. Even though this policy is acceptable, the FLSA still requires employers to pay employees for extra hours worked. However, you also need to understand that the employer has legal rights to take disciplinary measures if a policy for overtime approval is violated. In this case, the employer can even decide to terminate the employee.
Misclassification Of Workers
Employers have also been known to misclassify their workers so that they do not pay for overtime. This usually happens in large institutes where there are many employees. Most of them are classified as “exempt” so that the employer can avoid paying overtime. The only group of people who are not paid overtime include, administrative staff, executives, and the marketing or sales team.
Neglecting Compensation For Workers Injuries
In Connecticut, employers are required by law to compensate workers for work-related injuries. It does not matter whether an employer has personal insurance or not. The employer should cover the cost of treatment as long as the employee got injured while on duty. However, some employers violate the wage and hours laws by failing to compensate workers for their injuries.
Paying Employees Less Than the Minimum Wage
In the State of Connecticut, the minimum wage for employees is currently $12.00 an hour. However, there are a few exceptions especially for those who receive tips at the workplace, such as bartenders and servers. Per Connecticut’s 80/20 rule employees in these positions make less than $12.00 an hour if at least 80% of their time is spent performing tipped duties.
Retaliate Against Those Who Have Exercised Their Legal Rights
Employers also violate wage and hour laws by retaliating against those who have exercised their legal rights. Such action only complicates matters since workers are protected by the law to exercise their rights. Therefore, instead of retaliating, employers should look for a way to solve all the disputes.
Failing To Give Workers Breaks
All employees who are considered to be “non-exempt” have a right to take breaks or rest periods. That is because employees need time to re-energize before going back to work. However, most employers only schedule rest periods or breaks that last for a very short period.
How Do I File A Wage Dispute Claim In Connecticut?
Filing a wage and hour dispute is different in every State. Therefore, if you live in this region and want to file for a wage dispute claim, follow the steps below.
Record The Hours Worked
The first thing that you should do is record the number of hours you have worked without receiving payment. This will help you determine how much your employer owes you. Moreover, your employer should also have a record of all the wages that have been paid. Therefore, you can request a copy of this record to track the hours you have worked using various tools found on the FLSA website.
Request For Paycheck
Before you can proceed on to take the next legal action, Connecticut Labor Department requires you to try requesting your payment in person before involving legal institutions. However, if the employer does not comply with your request, you can proceed on and file a statement for your claim.
Fill Out A Complaint Form
If you have tried your best to solve the matter by requesting the money from the employer and still fails to pay you, then the next step that you should take is to fill out a wage complaint form. You can visit the Connecticut labor department domain where you can download a copy of this particular form, once you download the form, fill it and then sign it. Remember to keep a copy of the wages complaint form when submitting it.
Submit The Wages Complaint Form With A Written Cover Letter
After filling your form, the next step that you should take is to write your cover letter and then attach it to the wages complaint form. However, make sure that the cover letter is short and precise in regards to stating your case. Cover letters are not easy to write. That is why you might want to seek help from a legal representative to help you put all the paperwork in order.
Once you are done preparing the two documents, mail them to the labor department and then wait for them to get in touch with you. Sometimes the labor department might take longer than expected to respond especially if there are other applications with a similar request. If you do not get a reply after 4 weeks, call the labor department and follow up on your case.
How Can A Lawyer Help With My Claim?
Even though the Connecticut Labor Department will investigate more on the matter, you still need a lawyer to help you with your case. Your lawyer will, first of all, help you file your claim without making mistakes that could cause delays. Moreover, a legal representative can do most of the hard work for you such as filing all the paperwork.
Besides helping you file your claim, a wage and hour dispute lawyer can also help you determine the cost of your claim. If you have unpaid wages, overtime, and damages included in your case, your lawyer will make sure that you get a fair settlement for your claim. Furthermore, your lawyer will be your legal representative if the matter goes to court.
Another benefit of having a lawyer is that he or she will make sure that your claim is filed on time. According to the Connecticut wage law, an employee is required to file his or her claim within three years. The court can dismiss your claim if it is not filed within this period. Therefore, make sure that you do not wait too long to file your claim.
Your wage and hour dispute lawyer can also help with negotiations. If the employer is willing to settle the matter through peaceful negotiations, let your lawyer negotiate on your behalf because he or she is more experienced in such matters. Moreover, your legal representative will use his or her skills to protect your interests.
Can An Employer Retaliate If I File A Wage Dispute Claim?
Some employers do retaliate when an employee files a wage claim. What employees need to understand is that they are protected by the law to exercise their rights. Therefore, the employer should not retaliate when a dispute is filed against him or her. At workplaces, retaliation usually includes suspension, demotion, termination of services, and even transfer. Threats, assaults, and disciplinary actions are also used by employers as retaliation.
Employees do not have to tolerate retaliation for exercising their rights. Therefore, if the matter progresses from bad to worse, an employee can file a retaliation complaint. However, you need to understand that a retaliation complaint can only be filed within 6 months from the time the retaliatory act took place.
Contact A Middletown Wage and Hour Dispute Lawyer With Aeton Law
If you want to recover all your unpaid wages and unpaid overtime, contact the Aeton law today at 860-724-2160. Our lawyers will review your case and advise you on which legal actions you should take.