Federal and state laws have established the minimum hourly rate that is acceptable for employees. Employers who pay at a level lower than the minimum wage are violating the law. For instance, in New York, employers must pay the minimum $8.00 per hour.
While there are exceptions regarding workers who receive tips, workers under the age of 20 and students, it is generally true that a pay rate less than $8.00 is against the law. Some employers still attempt to skirt these rules in order to improve their profit margins. At Bell Law Group, PLLC, we help workers whose employers have failed to pay them at least the minimum wage.
Enforcing the Minimum Wage
Each state has its own division through which all minimum wage claims flow. In New York, this is the Labor Standards Division out of the Department of Labor. The Labor Standards Division is charged with enforcing the New York State Minimum Wage Act. It is also responsible for investigating any failure to pay claim.
In reality, however, violations of minimum wage laws are corrected only through legal action by the affected employees. It is important for abused workers to stand up for their rights and hold their employers accountable for unfair pay practices.
We can help you understand your rights. If your employer has violated your right to fair pay, we can help you pursue proper compensation under the law.
Common Employer Tactics to Avoid Paying Proper Wages
Employers use several methods to avoid paying proper wages. Some employees are asked to work “off the clock” so on paper it can look like the minimum rate was paid. Unpaid leaves may also be pushed on employees in situations that violate employment law. In some cases, employees may be docked some of their paycheck, resulting in a drop below the minimum wage. However it is accomplished, companies that choose to violate minimum wage laws need to be called out.
Violations on a Massive Scale
Employers stand little to gain by paying a single worker below the minimum wage. Many businesses, particularly large businesses, push company policies that violate the rights of hundreds or even thousands of workers. This means that many minimum wage cases lend themselves well to class action suits, wherein the rights of a class of workers are decided in a single case. The employer often stands to lose millions of dollars if the decision goes against them. They have teams of highly trained lawyers on their side to keep that from happening. You need experienced representation to ensure that your rights are not trampled.