Claims for Unpaid Wages

Dallas employment lawyer Stacy Cole fights for employees in disputes against employers for unpaid wages, wrongful termination, employment discrimination, workplace retaliation, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and numerous other employment related issues.  Contact our Texas employment law firm today to setup a consultation.

Sadly, employers often take advantage of employees by failing to pay employees the required wages. This is commonly referred to as wage theft. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay minimum and overtime wages.

Overtime wages are normally calculated at one and a half times the regular rate of pay. Employers often take money from employees by paying a salary instead of paying the required overtime rates. In addition to being liable for unpaid wages, an employer is liable to the employee for liquidated damages, which is double the amount owed in unpaid wages, and attorney fees.

Dallas employment attorney Stacy Cole has experience handling claims for unpaid wages. Contact our Texas employment law firm today if you would like to discuss a potential claim against your employer for unpaid wages.

How Much Is Minimum Wage Under the FLSA?

Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour worked. Additionally, most employees must be paid overtime for all hours worked over forty hours a week. Some states and local governments have increased the minimum wage for employees working in those areas. However, no state or municipality can decrease the minimum wage below $7.25 an hour. Thus, your employer is likely violating the law if you are being paid less than minimum wage.

Contact Dallas employment lawyer Stacy Cole if you are making less than minimum wage. Your employer could owe you the difference in what you are being paid and minimum wage. Plus, you employer could owe you double that amount (called liquidated damages) and attorneys’ fees.

There are often short deadlines when bringing claims against an employers. Contact Dallas employment lawyer today if you believe that you have a claim against your employer.

What Are the Differences Between Salary and Overtime Pay?

The FLSA implemented guidelines as to which employees can be paid salary and which employees must be paid overtime. This law is not discretionary. Overtime is normally calculated at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay. For example, an administrative assistant who performs routine clerical tasks must be paid overtime wages for each hour worked over forty hours a week. It does not matter if the employee agreed to the arrangement or not. An employee cannot waive their right to overtime. There are specific categories of employees that may be paid on a salary basis. These employees are referred to as exempt employees because they are exempt for the overtime requirement.

If you believe you are misclassified as exempt and should be receiving overtime pay, contact Dallas employment lawyer Stacy Cole.

How Much Should Tipped Employees Be Paid?

The FLSA requires an employer to pay tipped employees at least $2.13 an hour. Plus, the position must meet the legal requirements before the position can be treated as a tipped employee position under the FLSA.

For example, a tipped employee must be one that customarily and regularly receives tips. Although an employer is allowed to pay tipped employees $2.13 an hour, the employee must make at least the minimum wage when combing the hourly wage and tips received. Additionally, employers must pay tipped employees the appropriate overtime rate of at least $5.76 an hour. Of course, an employer is free to pay an employer more that legal requirement.

Can an Employer Take Your Tips?

The tips received by tipped employees belong solely to the employee who received them. An employer is not allowed to take tips. The only exception is when an employer forces an employee to take part in a valid tip pool. However, an employer cannot take money from a tip pool. The tip pool can only be paid to certain customer facing employees. For example, an employer cannot pay tip pool funds to a dishwasher. Additionally, an employer cannot take money from a tip pool.

If you are a tipped employee and have concerns that your employer is not paying you correctly or is taking your tips, contact Dallas employment attorney Stacy Cole immediately.

Filing Wage Claims with the Texas Workforce Commission

An employee has the right to file a claim with the Texas Workforce Commission for unpaid wages or unlawful pay practices. Generally, a claim must be filed within 180 days of the unlawful act to preserve this right. However, this may not be an employee's sole method of recover. For example, an employee may be able to bring a breach of contract claim against an employer for unpaid wages. Such claims may carry a longer limitations period and provide for additional damages.

Contact a Dallas Employment Lawyer Today

If you have a claim for unpaid wages or unlawful pay practices and want to discuss your matter, contact a Dallas employment lawyer today. Our employment law firm can assist you in understanding your claim and how the law may protect you. Contact us today.