Wage Law

YOUR RIGHTS AS AN EMPLOYEE

State and Federal laws provide employees with protection and remedies when an employer fails to pay an employee all of the wages he or she is owed, fails to pay minimum wage and/or fails to pay non-exempt employees overtime.  Jackson+Jackson has extensive experience in pursuing employers for unpaid, late or short wages, unpaid minimum wage and unpaid overtime.

 Unpaid Wages

Louisiana Employees:  Louisiana law requires an employer pay its employees their final wages on the earlier date of: the next regular payday or 15 days from the employee’s last day of work. Often, an employee must be paid unused vacation pay in the employee’s final paycheck. Louisiana law also limits what deductions and set offs may be taken out of an employee’s paycheck.

Alabama Employees: Alabama Code §25-3-4 states that the Alabama Department of Labor is responsible for investigating and attempting to collect on final paycheck claims filed by employees.  That office may be reached by calling 334-223-7450 or toll free at 1-866-487-9243

 Minimum Wage

The Fair Labor Standards Act mandates that most employees must be paid minimum wage. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Although there are certain exceptions to this law, an employer’s categorization or designation of an employee as exempt is not determinative.   An employee may not waive his or her right to collect minimum wage.

 Overtime

The Fair Labor Standards Act also mandates that most employees must be paid one and one-half times their usual rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 per work week.  As with the minimum wage requirement, there are exceptions to this law.  However, an employer’s categorization or designation of an employee as exempt from this requirement is not determinative.  An employee may not waive his or her right to collect overtime.

YOUR OBLIGATIONS AS AN EMPLOYER

Jackson+Jackson offers consulting services to employers, large or small, about how to comply with state and federal wage law.  The mandatory penalties and attorneys fee provisions that accompany the statutes governing employee pay have the potential to exponentially increase the cost of unpaid or underpaid wage claims to the employer.

We work with our employer clients to provide an in-depth review of your employee payment policies and procedures for compliance with the nuances of state and federal law.  If necessary, we will draft and help you implement new policies or procedures to comply with the law.

 Unpaid Wages

Louisiana law is very clear about what wages must be paid to employees at the end of their employment and when those wages must be made.  The law is also clear about what deductions are allowed and when set offs may be taken.  The mandatory penalties and attorneys fees awarded to employees for a violation of these laws often greatly exceed the amount of unpaid wages, and it is incumbent upon an employer to know and comply with the law.

 Minimum Wage

The Fair Labor Standards Act provides that, except in the case of certain exempt employees, all employees must be paid minimum wage.  Currently, federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.  An employee cannot waive his right to minimum wage, and the question of whether an employee is entitled to minimum wage or is exempt is often nuanced.  Often, the employer’s designation of the employee as “exempt” is the least determinative fact in the analysis, and a misclassification or failure to pay minimum wage can be costly to the employer due to federally mandated penalties and attorneys fees provisions in the law.

 Overtime

The Fair Labor Standards Act also mandates that an employer pay non-exempt employees one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for every hour worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek.  Just as with the minimum wage requirement, an employee may not agree to not be paid overtime by contract or waiver.  Also similar to the minimum wage exemption, the overtime exemption is largely misunderstood and overused.  Misclassification can be costly, as the FLSA provides for the employer to pay mandatory penalties and attorneys fees to an employee who did not receive overtime pay.