The most fundamental part of any employment relationship is the basic notion that a worker will receive wages from his/her employer in exchange for services rendered. That basic concept, however, often leads to conflict and strife, as there are constantly wage and hour disputes between workers and employers about how much they’re owed for the work they put in. Here’s just a handful of common “wage and hour” disputes that happen every day:
- Unpaid or underpaid overtime
- In many jobs, you’re legally entitled to overtime pay if you work more than ten hours in a day or more than forty hours in a week. Some employers violate the law by not paying overtime for its employees, either simply paying the standard rate for hours worked (rather than the 1.5x pay required more than forty hours per week by law) or not paying for those hours worked at all. Employers are supposed to keep records of when employees clock in or clock out, but again, unscrupulous employers aren’t always very diligent about that either.
- Working off the clock
- Sometimes, to get around labor requirements like workers’ compensation for full-time employees, or paying overtime, an employer will force their workers to work off the clock. This can result in disparities like “part-time” employees working full-time hours with only part-time pay or benefits, or employees only getting paid for an eight-hour shift when they worked ten or twelve hours (or maybe even more). This is illegal, but employees often remain quiet out of fear of retaliation from their employers.
- Minimum wage violations
- The New York State minimum wage is $11.10. This minimum wage applies to most jobs, with a handful of specific exceptions. However, many people who are entitled to the minimum wage are paid less than this amount, either because they don’t know they’re entitled to more, or because they fear retribution for speaking out. However, that doesn’t make this violation of the law any less egregious.
- Withheld commissions
- Commission disputes are quite common. Since many employees who work on commission don’t otherwise make much, or anything, from their jobs, withholding commissions is the same as withholding a worker’s livelihood. However, employees can risk a lot by trying to fight for their earned commissions, unless they have legal representation to back them up.
If you have any of these disputes with your employer, or otherwise are not receiving the pay you’re entitled to, you’ll need a lawyer to fight for your rights. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer who has considerable experience in handling the many aspects of employment law, including overtime, tips and gratuities, minimum wage, unemployment benefits, and disability matters. To schedule a consultation with New York City employment lawyer Steve Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.