Several recent lawsuits have highlighted a growing problem across the country – wage theft. Wage theft refers to the failure of employers to pay overtime compensation and minimum wage in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires all employers pay their workers minimum wage and all non-exempt employees overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half times their standard rate of pay.
If you have questions about your pay or believe that your employer has improperly denied you the compensation you deserve, consulting with an experienced Georgia wage and hour attorney is important to protect you from wage theft.
Several high profile wage and hour lawsuits are pending around the country. In one instance, a national trucking company failed to pay overtime to its workers, although many warehouse employees worked 70-hour workweeks. One worker, a Mexican immigrant stated that he’d work “60, even 90 days in a row” without receiving overtime pay.
Other lawsuits, including pending litigation against McDonalds, assert that the company illegally erased hours worked and failed to pay workers for time spent on the job.
In an overtime lawsuit filed against FedEx, drivers claimed they were misclassified as “independent contractors,” and thus deprived overtime pay when required to work 10-hour days.
Federal and state officials have noticed an increase in wage and hour violations, and point to the poor economy, stiff competition and a desire for higher profits as potential reasons for the increase.
The director of the federal Labor Department’s wage and hour division explained the surge in wage theft on “underlying changes in the nation’s business structure” including the increased use of subcontractors and temp agencies. “We have a change in the structure of work that is then compounded by a falling level of what is viewed as acceptable in the workplace in terms of how you treat people and how you regard the law.”
Regardless of the reason for the surge in wage and hour violations, if you believe you have been a victim of wage theft or unfairly denied any compensation you are entitled to, it is critical if you contact an experienced and compassionate Atlanta wage theft attorney at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate consultation.