Labor and employment law, both at the federal and the state level, covers a lot of issues, such as FMLA, child labor, contracts, healthcare and retirement plans and safety standards.
If you believe that you’ve been mistreated by your employer in any way covered by federal or state law, contact an employment lawyer to discuss your case. Remember that many of these claims must be filed within a certain time period after the incident. See an employment lawyer as soon as possible if you suspect employee mistreatment.
Here is a look at the 6 most common forms of employee mistreatment –
Not paying minimum wage
All employees are entitled to the full minimum wage set by state or federal law, regardless of whether they are entitled to tips. Federal minimum wage is currently less than state minimum wage. Employees who are paid in tips can make less than the state minimum wage, provided they earn enough in tips to receive the state’s minimum wage.
If an employer fails to pay the minimum wage, it is a violation of labor and employment laws. Depending on the case, the employer may also be in violation of the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act).
Not paying overtime pay
The FLSA has set standards related to overtime pay. Employers have to provide overtime pay to nonexempt employees, who are covered by the FLSA. This includes hourly employees and even some salaried employees. Overtime pay is 1.5 times of an hourly employee’s rate if that employee works more than 40 hours in a week.
Under Arizona law, executives, administrators, and professionals who earn $455 per week or more are exempt from overtime. The same is true for certain salespersons (such as those who set their own hours), some IT/ computer employees, independent contractors, certain transportation employees, employees of farms, employees in the agricultural industry, and employees who live with their employers (such as a cook, housekeeper, or nanny).
However, don’t be quick to dismiss your potential claim. Some professional employees, such as nurses, are entitled to overtime pay. See an employment lawyer and find out whether you are entitled to overtime pay.
How you are classified as an employee affects your legal rights. As a result, many employers misclassify workers to avoid certain responsibilities.
There are three classifications used by employers –
- Exempt employees – An exempt employee doesn’t get overtime pay and is not protected by the FLSA. Truly exempt employees must fall within a certain category of work or earn more than $455 per week as a salaried employee. However, simply being a salaried professional doesn’t make you automatically exempt.
- Nonexempt employees – A nonexempt employee is entitled to overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a work week. Such employees generally earn less than $455 per week, but that’s not a must.
- Independent contractors – An independent contractor performs specific tasks as an but they’re not classified as an employee and aren’t protected by the FLSA. They have to handle their own taxes. They’re not entitled to unemployment or workers’ compensation. An employer must have the person sign a declaration of independent business status, to hire an independent contractor in Arizona.
If you believe that you have been misclassified by your employer, talk to an employment lawyer.
Workplace discrimination may involve violation of federal and state law in hiring or firing, job assignments, wages paid, promotions, training opportunities, and fringe benefits.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects workers from discrimination based on their sex, race, color, national origin, or religion, if the employer has 15 or more employees. Employers can’t refuse to hire or fire someone or discriminate against them (including their pay, conditions of employment, benefits, and privileges) based on five protected classes.
Another type of workplace discrimination is sexual discrimination. The federal law protects employees (including what they’re paid) from discrimination based on the employee’s gender.
Employees, who are 40 years of age or older, are protected from being discriminated on the basis of age, against hiring, firing, or withholding of a job promotion.
Individuals with disabilities are protected under several federal laws when it comes to employment.
If you would fall under the any of the above categories and believe that you were discriminated against, don’t wait. Contact an employment lawyer right away.
If employees speak up against harassment or discrimination or safety standards and changes at work and they are punished with workplace retaliation, it is unlawful. An employee can’t be punished by an employer for enforcing their legal rights.
Arizona state law protects employees from workplace retaliation. Record the incident and see a Phoenix employment lawyer.