Illinois employment lawyerAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently an estimated 16.6 million retail workers over the age of 16 in the United States. Jobs in the retail industry are popular among younger Americans such as high school and college students because of the flexible hours and minimum education requirements. Retail establishments can include gas stations, restaurants, department stores, and much more. Retail employees are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as long as the establishment has an annual sales volume of at least $500,000, or if employees are engaged in interstate commerce activities.

As an employer, it is important that you avoid FLSA violations to achieve full compliance.

Hours Worked Violations

Employers are required by law to pay for all hours worked by employees. Sometimes retail establishments will only allow workers to be “on the clock” if there is a need for them. If they are scheduled to work, but there is no demand for more staff, the employee will often be told they are not needed. Unless an employer immediately informs an employee of this, fully relieves them of duty, and gives them a specific time to check in, the time between their scheduled shift and the check-in time does not have to be counted as work time. If the employee is not given a specific time that is long enough to use for their own benefit, all of the waiting time should be counted as hours worked.

Illegal Deductions

It is legal for an employer to deduct the cost of uniforms, tools of the trade, merchandise, or cash shortages from an employee’s pay, to an extent. It is illegal if the deductions reduce the employee’s wages below the minimum wage or reduce the amount of overtime pay.

Salaried Employee Issues

Salary structure is only one of the factors used in determining whether an employee is subject to minimum wage and overtime guidelines. The employee’s duties and responsibilities, along with their salary, are all used to determine whether they are exempt from minimum wage and overtime. Retail employees (even salaried ones) often do not meet the requirements to be considered exempt from overtime pay.

Contact an Illinois Business Lawyer

There are a number of ways your company can mistakenly violate the FLSA, so it is important to contact a knowledgeable Schaumburg, IL FLSA labor law lawyer if you are uncertain about your compliance. At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., we are experienced in helping employers settle FLSA issues. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-995-1205.


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Schaumburg business lawyerFor many high school and college students, unpaid internships are almost a necessity. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, around 61 percent of graduating college seniors had an internship, although nearly half of all internships in the United States were unpaid. Unpaid internships are highly contentious among some because many involve students doing work that actual employees would do. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor gave unpaid internships its blessing, with a few requirements. Business owners should be aware of these requirements to avoid violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Primary Beneficiary Test

The primary beneficiary test is used by courts to help determine whether an intern or student is actually an employee who must be compensated for their work. The following seven factors are the criteria that courts use to make the determination:

  • The extent to which the employer and the intern understand there is no expectation of compensation;
  • Whether the internship provides training that would be similar to the training that would be given in an educational environment;
  • Whether the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program through integrated coursework or academic credit;
  • Whether the internship corresponds to the academic calendar;
  • Whether the duration of the internship lasts only as long as the internship provides beneficial learning;
  • Whether the intern’s work complements (but does not displace) the work of paid employees; and
  • The extent to which the intern and the employer understand the internship does not guarantee a paid job at the end of the internship.

Courts have stated the test is rather flexible because no two cases or internships are the same. If the test reveals an intern should actually be classified as an employee, then the intern is entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay, as per the FLSA.

Contact an Illinois FLSA Litigation Attorney

For many students, internships play a significant role in allowing them to explore their chosen careers. For employers, internship programs are an important aspect of the workplace culture and provide a nice complement to employees. It is important that any employer ensures interns are treated as such and are not doing work that should be compensated. If you are an employer concerned about FLSA compliance or who faces FLSA litigation, a Schaumburg, IL FLSA litigation lawyer can help. Contact the Miller Law Firm, P.C. at 847-995-1205 to set up a free consultation today.


Posted in Employee Rights, Fair Labor Standards Act, FLSA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Illinois employment lawyerSometimes there are situations in which an employee is unable to work because of personal health issues or those of a family member. Many people worry that taking extensive time off from work will cause them to lose their job or face repercussions when they get back to work. Fortunately, the United States government has enacted what is called the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act helps millions of Americans get the time off they need without having to worry about unfair treatment from their employers.

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Enacted in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows certain employees of covered employers to take unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons. Under the FMLA, it is illegal for employers to retaliate or to demote a person for taking leave covered under the act. Under certain situations, employers are permitted to require their employees to use accrued paid leave, such as sick leave or vacation.

Covered Employers and Eligible Employees

There are certain criteria employers must meet in order to be subject to the FMLA. Employers covered by the FMLA include:
Private sector employers with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year;
Public agencies, including local, state or federal government agencies, regardless of the number of employees; and
Public or private elementary or secondary schools, regardless of the number of employees.

Employees who are entitled to take FMLA leave include those who:

  • Work for a covered employer;
  • Have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months;
  • Have at least 1,250 hours of service; and
  • Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

Reasons to Take FMLA Leave

Eligible employees are permitted to take 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job; or
  • Any qualifying situation arising from the fact that the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is a covered military member on covered active duty.

An Illinois Family and Medical Leave Act Litigation Attorney Can Help

If you are an employer who is subject to the FMLA, contact a Schaumburg, IL employment lawyer. At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., we can help settle any contract disputes you have with your employees regarding the FMLA. Contact our office today to see how we can help you find a solution that works for both you and your employees. Call us at 847-995-1205 to schedule a free consultation today.


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