Do you know your rights when it comes to fair wages? There are a number of laws on the books that protect Wisconsin workers. Read on to learn if you are being denied lawful compensation for your labor, as well as what you can do if you need to fight for it.
Do you need a lawyer for a wage and hour claim? Contact a Milwaukee wage lawyer at The Previant Law Firm, S.C. for a free review of your unique situation.
Contact our firm at (414) 240-1185 to arrange your free, confidential consultation.
What Are Wisconsin Workers’ Wage Rights?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) obligates employers to pay employees for the time they work. Employers 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.
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.
How Are Workers Unfairly Compensated by Employers?
Misclassifying employees is one way employers violate the 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 wage laws occurs when employers avoid paying wages and overtime by claiming employees are not entitled to wages for “working” time.
Examples of working time violations include:
- Having employees work “off the clock”
- Not paying employees for the time it takes to put on and take off sanitary uniforms
- Inaccurate records of hours worked
- Paying employees for their scheduled work times rather than for the actual time worked
- 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, then you may have been underpaid for regular wages and overtime. Contact a wage lawyer immediately!
The Previant Law Firm, S.C. Can Help
The Previant Law Firm, S.C. has been serving the people of Wisconsin since 1912. Our Milwaukee wage and hour lawyers are experts in advocating on your behalf against unfair compensation and other dishonest or illegal employer practices. If and when the time should come that you need guidance and support, we are here to serve you.
Receive a free review of your overtime or other wage and hour case. Call (414) 240-1185!