The Previant Law Firm, S.C.

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Get Fair Wages

Do you know your rights when it comes to fair wages? There are a number of laws on the books which protect Wisconsin workers. This page will help you determine if you are being denied lawful compensation and what you can do if you need assistance.

What are Milwaukee workers wage rights?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) obligates employers to pay employees for the time they work. Employees are bound to pay at least minimum wage for all hours worked. For any work over 40 hours in one week, compensation for overtime is 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay. Under the Wisconsin wage law, Chapter 109 of the Wisconsin Statutes, employees can also recover unpaid straight-time wages, as well as overtime.

You can learn more about fair wages by downloading this free copy of our “Wages Bill of Rights.


Which workers are exempt from FLSA?

There are job classifications that are exempt from both the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA, including administrative, executive and professional employees who are paid on a salaried basis. The overtime provisions of the act also exempt employees covered by the Secretary of Transportation’s safety regulations. Among others, the job classifications include employees of rail and air carriers, drivers and helpers making local deliveries, and agricultural workers.

What are some of the ways workers can be unfairly compensated by employers?

Misclassifying employees is one way employers violate FLSA. Violations can happen when employers incorrectly classify an employee as an executive or administrative employee to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime obligations. In some situations, employees are improperly classified as “independent contractors” to avert paying overtime. In these cases, employees have the right to recover the wages and overtime they would have received going back two years. Under the FLSA, employees may be able to claim wages going back three years, if the employer’s violation is determined to be willful.

One of the most basic violations of state and federal wage laws is when employers avoid paying wages and overtime by claiming the employees are not entitled to wages for “working” time. Some examples of this are:

  • having employees work “off the clock”
  • not paying employees for the time it takes to put on and take off sanitary uniforms
  • failing to pay employees because of inaccurate records of hours worked
  • paying employees for the time they were scheduled to work rather than for the work performed
  • rounding or editing time records
  • permitting employees to “volunteer” for work without pay
  • improper payment of wages for “tipped” employees
  • failure to pay overtime at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay
  • not paying employees for overtime because they were attending a meeting or training program, or even for breaks

Under Wisconsin law, employees are entitled to be paid for breaks less than 20 minutes or in cases where they are not able to leave the employer’s premises. Also, an employee’s regular rate of pay can include shift bonuses, pension contributions or other pay incentives. If these circumstances have happened to you, you may have been underpaid for regular wages and overtime.

How can The Previant Law Firm help workers?

The Previant Law Firm has been serving the people of Wisconsin in labor, personal injury and worker’s compensation legal matters since 1912. Our attorneys are experts in advocating on your behalf against unfair compensation and practices. And if and when the time should come that you need some advice and support, we are here to serve you.

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