Wage and Hour Law
As a worker Washington, D.C., you should know that your employer is required to abide by local wage and hour laws that are very employee-friendly or else face penalties. If you believe you may not have been paid your proper wages, you should consult seasoned Washington, D.C. wage and hour attorney Matthew Famiglietti. He may be able to help you recover not only the wages to which you’re entitled, but also, in some cases, treble damages.Wage and Hour Law
Wage and hour law is a body of federal and local laws that governs how much and for what time your employer pays you. Issues that may come up in the workplace may involve minimum wage, unpaid wages, overtime, employee misclassification, bonuses, fringe benefits, unpaid vacation time, and unpaid sick leave. Sometimes a legal violation is inadvertent. However, there are also unscrupulous employers who intentionally try to save money by not paying workers the amounts to which they are entitled by law.Minimum Wage
Among other things, wage and hour law sets minimum wage, which is the lowest amount your employer can lawfully pay you. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets a federal minimum wage. It is $7.25 each hour. Consult a wage and hour lawyer in the Washington, D.C. area to learn more about federal the minimum wage.
When federal and local minimum wage rates are not the same, the more protective law applies. Many employees in the District of Columbia are protected by the local Minimum Wage Act. Even if you receive a salary, you may be covered under Washington, D.C. minimum wage law. As of July 1, 2021, the minimum wage in Washington, D.C. will go up to $15.20 per hour for every worker, regardless of the employer’s size.
The minimum wage for tipped employees is $5.05. This means that if your hourly tip earnings as a server in a restaurant or in another tipped position does not equal the total amount of Washington, D.C. minimum wage, your employer will need to pay the difference between these amounts.
If your employer violates Washington, D.C. minimum wage law, it may need to pay you the full amount of your unpaid wages, along with liquidated damages in an amount of up to three times the amount of your unpaid wages. In order to avoid paying treble damages, but not less than the unpaid wages, an employer would need to prove the following factors: good faith, reasonable grounds for its belief it was not violating the law, and prompt payment of the full amount claimed to be owed. To understand more about these violations speak to a wage and hour attorney serving clients in Washington, D.C.Unpaid Wages
Another wage and hour issue is unpaid wages. In the event that you are not paid by your employer, you may have recourse under the District of Columbia Wage Payment and Collection Law. This law allows you to recover 10% of your unpaid wages for every day wages are late, up to a maximum of four times the amount of wages owed, along with attorneys’ fees and costs.Overtime
Eligible employees in Washington, D.C. should be paid overtime if they work beyond 40 hours in a week. In Washington, D.C., overtime is paid at 1 ½ times the regular rate for the hours worked in a work week beyond 40 hours. Not all jobs are eligible for overtime. If you are not paid overtime, you may be entitled to an unpaid overtime amount along with liquidated damages in an amount of up to three times the amount of unpaid overtime wages.Rest and Lunch Breaks
In Washington, D.C., your employer faces no requirement to provide rest or lunch breaks. You can be paid if you work through the break by covering phones or doing anything else. You are also entitled to be paid for brief breaks that an employer gives; the time will be considered part of your workday.Retaliation
You should not be retaliated against for filing a complaint, instituting a proceeding, or testifying at a proceeding that involves minimum wage violations. Retaliatory actions could involve pay cuts, demotions, and negative evaluations. Retaliation may also involve wrongful termination.
Employer retaliation may exist if your employer enforces a workplace policy that discourages you and other employees from putting your rights forward with regard to wages.Retain a Seasoned Washington, D.C. Wage and Hour Lawyer
If you believe you may not have been paid in accordance with wage and hour laws in Washington, D.C., you should talk to attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti about your situation. Mr. Famiglietti represents workers in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Complete our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.