Employment Law - The Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou, PLLC | Unpaid Wages - Bankruptcy - Personal Injury

Employment Law

Paid late? You may be entitled to liquidated damages in an amount equal to the amount you were paid late. Our office is committed to the principle that employers are obligated to pay their employees on time for all the hours they work, and we are dedicated to ensuring that happens.  Our motto is that a fulfilling lifestyle begins with financial freedom, and the first step toward meeting that goal is to let us help you protect your check.

Employment Law

Paid late? You may be entitled to liquidated damages in an amount equal to the amount you were paid late. Our office is committed to the principle that employers are obligated to pay their employees on time for all the hours they work, and we are dedicated to ensuring that happens.  Our motto is that a fulfilling lifestyle begins with financial freedom, and the first step toward meeting that goal is to let us help you protect your check.

Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the primary tool we use to help employees protect their check from wage theft. Contact the Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou today to learn how we can help you.

  • Your employer does not pay you for all the time you work, including “off-the-clock work” like travel time, working through unpaid breaks, on-call time, etc.
  • Your employer misclassifies you as an independent contractor rather than an employee.
  • Your employer misclassifies you as exempt from the FLSA under white collar exemptions such as the executive, administrative, or professional exemptions and pays you on a salaried basis.
  • Your employer pays you, as an hourly employee, on a day later than your regular payday including pay adjustments for prior weeks worked.

If these problems have happened or are happening to you or someone you know, you may be entitled to back wages for up to a three-year period, a liquidated damage in the same amount in addition to your back wages, and your attorneys’ fees and costs. In other words, you will not pay us a dime if we win; your employer will be forced to cover your legal fees.

Paid late? You may be entitled to liquidated damages up to the same amount of money that you were paid late. Call us today to set up a free consultation to discuss your circumstances and let us help you protect your check.

 

FAQ

Area of Practice

What area of employment law do you practice?

The Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou specializes in wage and hour law.

  • Wage and hour law is the area of law that sets the legal standards for how and when employees are to be paid by their employers.
  • We do most of our work under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal law that sets the federal minimum wage and overtime wage standards.
Overtime Wages for Over 40 Hours

Does my employer have to pay me time a half when I work over 40 hours in a workweek?

It depends.

  • The general rule in the United States is that if you work more than 40 hours in a week you should make one and one-half times your regular rate of pay.
  • Even though this is the general rule, there are exceptions.
Independent Contractors and Overtime

My employer calls me an independent contractor and says it does not have to pay me one and one-half my regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. Is that legal?

While it’s true that independent contractors do not have to be paid one and one-half times their regular rate of pay, employers often misclassify employees as independent contractors.

  • The fact that your title is “independent contractor” does not mean that you are an independent contractor under the law.
  • The fact that you are an independent contractor under some laws (for example, workers’ compensation laws) does not mean you are an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • The fact that you were issued a 1099 does not mean you are an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • The test for determining whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor is called the economic realities test. It is a multi-factor test that takes many considerations into account. This is something we will evaluate when you meet with us.
Off-the-Clock Work

My employer requires me to do work off-the-clock. Is that legal?

Probably not. Many situations where employees work off-the-clock are considered “compensable time.” That means employers must pay employees for the time they spend doing that work.

  • Examples of compensable time include checking emails and responding from home, doing tasks before and after clocking in for the day, working through unpaid lunch breaks, and traveling between locations during the workday.
  • If you are working to the benefit of your employer, your employer knows or has reason to know that you are working, and/or you are not completely relieved from duty, you should be paid for the work you have done during that time.
Managers and Overtime

My employer calls me a manager and pays me a salary. However, I mostly do the same kind of work that the hourly employees do, and I have never been paid time-and-half for hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. Is that legal?

Probably not. Employers often misclassify employees as exempt under the white-collar exemptions including the executive exemption, when in fact the employee is a non-exempt employee.

  • Whether an employee is exempt under the executive exemption depends on their “primary duty.” If you spend more than 50% of your time performing the same kind of work that hourly employees perform, it is likely you have been misclassified and are owed back wages for overtime pay that you have not received.
  • Whether an employee is exempt depends on whether the employee is authorized to exercise discretion and independent judgment regarding matters of significance. Simply stated, the employee has the authority to make an independent choice, free from immediate direction or supervision. If you do not make these kinds of decisions, it is likely that you are a non-exempt employee and are owed back wages for overtime pay that you have not received.
Protection Against Retaliation

If I file a case against my employer to recover unpaid wages, am I protected from retaliation? I’m nervous my employer will fire me if I pursue my claims?

Yes, the Fair Labor Standards Act has an anti-retaliation provision which makes it illegal for an employer to take an “adverse employment action” against you for pursuing your right to on-time payment.

Adverse employment action does not only mean termination. Reducing your hours, preventing you from being promoted, and other actions that negatively impact your employment could all potentially be considered an adverse employment action.

Paid Late

My employer does not pay me on payday. Is that illegal?

Oftentimes, yes.

  • Under the FLSA, your wages are due to you on your regular payday.
  • While there are some exceptions, if you receive your paycheck on a date later than your regular pay date, then you are probably owed money under the FLSA.
Cost of An Attorney

How much do I have to pay you to pursue my claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act?

Nothing.

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act is what is called a fee-shifting statute. That means if we are able to get you a favorable outcome, your employer will have to pay our attorneys’ fees.
  • We do not get paid anything if we are not able to get anything for you.
What You Could Be Entitled To

What can I recover under the Fair Labor Standards Act?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you may be entitled to back wages, liquidated damages in an amount equal to your back wages, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Wage and Hour Law
At the Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou, we specialize in the subsection of employment law referred to as wage and hour law. Wage and hour law is the area of law related to how many hours people work and how much they are paid per hour for their work.

Many of our cases are brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal law that sets the federal minimum wage and overtime wage standards. The FLSA generally provides that employees must be paid at least a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour (Michigan has a higher minimum wage of $9.45 per hour) and at least one and one-half times an employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. While there are some exceptions to the rules, these standards are meant to apply to most employees.

Being paid the correct amount of wages is essential to financial stability. If you are not being paid at least the minimum wage for all hours that you work or receiving overtime pay, you may be the victim of wage theft. Call us today at (734) 692-9200 to set up a free consultation to see whether you have been paid correctly and whether you are entitled to any damages under the law. If you have not been paid correctly, you may be entitled to double damages for up to the last three years.

Overtime
Most people in the United States are familiar with the concept of overtime pay. Overtime pay is a premium of one and one-half an employee’s regular rate of pay that the employee is entitled to when he or she works more than 40 hours in a workweek.

Despite being mandated by law, some employers do not pay the overtime wages employees are owed. Typical issues regarding overtime involve the misclassification of employees as independent contractors or as exempt employees. Generally, the overtime wage rule does not apply to both sets of workers. But when workers are misclassified, it chips away at their financial stability, leaving them without access to workers’ compensation insurance, liable to a host of taxes, and importantly, without the overtime wages they earned.

If you work over 40 hours in a workweek and are not paid time-and-a-half for those hours over 40 hours, call the Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou at (734) 692-9200 and set up a free consultation. We may be able to help you obtain double the amount you are owed at no cost to you.

Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors
Under most wage and hour laws, independent contractors are not entitled to overtime wages. However, employers misclassify employees as independent contractors at an alarming rate. They do this in an effort to avoid things such as paying payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance premiums, and importantly, minimum and overtime wages. As an Economic Policy Institute briefing paper explained, it is estimated that between 10% and 20% of employers misclassify at least one of their employees.

The misclassification of employees is a serious problem in the United States. This violation of the law occurs most frequently in the construction, landscape, janitorial, hospitality, personal care services, security, and delivery industries.

Just because your employer calls you an independent contractor does not mean you are under the law. Even if you signed an independent contractor agreement, receive a 1099 form, or the classification is common practice in your industry, you may still be an employee under wage and hour laws. What determines if you are truly an independent contractor is a multifactor test called the economic realities test.

As attorneys experienced in helping employees with these issues, we can assess whether you are owed money under the law. Call us today at (734) 692-9200 to set up a free consultation. If you have been misclassified, you may be entitled to up to double your back wages for up to three years. Do not let your employer skirt the law at the expense of your financial stability.

Off-the-Clock Work
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act and other wage and hour laws, employees must be paid at least the minimum wage for all hours worked and at least one and one-half times an employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. Although employers must pay wages that comply with these requirements, it is not uncommon for companies to require employees to do work for which they are not paid.

If you come in before your scheduled work time and begin working, stay and work after you are punched out for the day, work through unpaid lunches or breaks, check or respond to emails from home, or are required to drive from location to location throughout the day without pay, you may be entitled to up to double your wages for the time spent doing those tasks within the last three years. Even if your employer did not specifically instruct you to do the work, you could be owed money.

You work hard and deserve to be paid for all the time that you work. Call the Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou at (734) 692-9200 today to set up a free consultation regarding your unpaid off-the-clock work.

Managers Who Are Not Paid Overtime
One of the more common violations of overtime law is the misclassification of employees as exempt. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act there are classifications of employees which employers do not have to pay overtime called exempt employees. Some of the most common exemptions are the executive, administrative, and professional employee exemptions. To fall under the executive exemption, an employee must be paid a salary of at least $23,660.00 per year (or $455 per week) on a salary basis, the employee’s primary duty must be management, the employee must direct the work of at least two employees, and the employee must be able to use independent discretion with regard to matters of significance.

Typical problems include employers classifying supervisors and assistant managers as exempt. This practice is most common in the retail and restaurant industries. Although these employees often meet the salary requirements of the test, it is common for these kinds of employees to not meet the duties portion of the test. For example, many supervisors and assistant managers perform the same kind of work that the people they supervisor perform and do not actually manage as their primary duty.

If you are a supervisor or assistant manager classified as exempt and you spend more than half your day doing things other than managing employees, you may be misclassified and could potentially be owed up to double your back wages for up to the last three years. Call the Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou at (734) 692-9200 to set up a free consultation to determine whether you have a claim to unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Just because a company classifies an employee as exempt does not mean that they are under the law. Talk to experienced wage and hour attorneys to see whether you should be receiving overtime pay.

Retaliation
One of the most common hesitations employees have before bringing a claim is the fear of retaliation. When Congress drafted the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it knew employers have unequal power compared to most employees and that employees were dependent on the wages they received from their employers for their family’s financial stability. Accordingly, Congress included an anti-retaliation provision in the FLSA.

The anti-retaliation provision states that when an employee makes a complaint against the employer regarding their wages under the law, the employer cannot take any adverse employment action against the employee for doing so. The term adverse employment action encompasses action such as termination, but also actions like not scheduling an employee as frequently and failing to promote the employee.

If a court finds that the employer has retaliated against the employee in violation of the FLSA, the employee could be entitled to not only up to double wages for the violation of the minimum wage or overtime wage provision, but also front wages to make up for the wages lost by the employee for the retaliation.

If you would like to talk more about how the FLSA is designed to protect employees who come forward to vindicate their rights, call us at (734) 692-9200 to set up a free consultation.

Late Payment of Wages
Under wage and hour laws, employees are due their paychecks on their regular payday. If your employer pays you later than your regular payday, you could be entitled to an amount of money equal to your wages, even if you eventually received your paycheck. This rule applies to wages that are adjusted on later paychecks as well.

The Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou has extensive experience with this issue and has sued large companies like U.S. Steel for policies and practices that result in employees being paid later than their regular payday. Let our knowledgeable attorneys help you get the wages you are owed when you are owed them.

Employees’ financial stability relies primarily on their being paid in a timely fashion. It is estimated that approximately 80% of employees in the United States live paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent report on CNBC. When employees are not paid on time, that means they often go into debt trying to make ends meet. Just because an employer does not pay on time does not mean that bill collectors stop coming or that your family’s needs magically disappear.

If you have been paid later than your regular payday, call the Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou at (734) 692-9200 to set up a free consultation. You may be entitled to money, even if you were eventually paid. Also, because the Fair Labor Standards Act provides for employees’ attorneys’ fees to be paid by employers who violate the law, we may be able to get you this recovery at no cost to you.

How Attorneys Are Paid
When Congress drafted the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it knew that most employees do not have the money to pay a lawyer to vindicate their rights. That is why it wrote the FLSA with a fee-shifting provision. A fee-shifting provision shifts the responsibility to pay attorneys’ fees from the retained person to the employer who violated the law. That means an attorney representing an employee who claims their rights under the FLSA have been violated only gets paid if the employee gets paid.

If you have not been paid correctly under the FLSA, call the Law Office of Bryan Yaldou at (734) 692-9200 to discuss whether we can help you get the money that you are owed at no cost to you.

What You Could Be Entitled to Under the Law
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other wage and hour laws, employees whose rights are violated could be entitled to recover from their employers. If you have not been paid at least the minimum wage for all of the hours you worked or overtime pay for hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek, you may be entitled to recover from your employer.

Your recovery could include up to all of your back wages for up to the last three years, an amount equal to your back wages, and your attorneys’ fees and costs. This recovery could come exclusively from your employer at no cost to you.

If you have not been paid at least the minimum wage for all hours that you worked or overtime wages for the hours over 40 hours in a workweek that you worked, let us help. Call the Law Offices of Bryan Yaldou today at (734) 692-9200 to set up a free consultation to see whether we can vindicate your rights at no cost to you.

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