The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 is a United States labor law that gives workers the right to a minimum wage, as well as overtime pay when employees work more than 40 hours a week. It also prohibits employment of minors in “oppressive child labor.” When a company violates any of the FLSA regulations, employees can file a lawsuit against their employer. These violations can include wage and hour violations, such as unpaid overtime and wages that fall below minimum wage.
Even when business owners unintentionally violate the terms of FLSA, it is important they understand how to prepare for litigation to maintain their company’s good standing. If you are an Illinois business owner who is facing such allegations, an experienced attorney can help protect your business.
In many companies, the human resources (HR) department or person is responsible for making sure management is adhering to FLSA rules. In some cases, owners or managers may not even realize that what they are or are not doing is considered a violation. In other instances, it could result from a misunderstanding or miscommunication between a supervisor and an employee. A few examples of the most common types of FLSA violations include:
- Not implementing changes to FLSA regulations
- Misclassifying employees
- Not tracking employee break times properly
- Ignoring off-the-clock work
- Not maintaining accurate or complete records
- Failure to pay unauthorized overtime
- Not compensating interns or volunteers
Common Defenses to FLSA Violation Allegations
Although the FLSA is intended to protect employees, an employer can face unjustified or wrongful FLSA violation claims. Sometimes these come from a disgruntled worker who got passed by for a promotion. Fortunately, there are several possible defenses to limit or avoid liability:
- FLSA rules do not apply: The FLSA applies to employers who have two or more employees engaged in interstate commerce and annual gross sales of a minimum of $500,000. Companies that do not meet that criteria would be exempt from FLSA.
- An employee did not work the hours he or she claimed to work: The employee did not work the hours claimed per time clock records or it was on-call or travel time.
- Exemptions apply: An employee was classified as exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA.
- A worker was compensated properly: The employee was properly compensated with an alternative method of payment, such as a flexible work week plan or a Belo contract (the employer and employee agree to a fixed weekly salary for hours worked up to an agreed-upon maximum).
- The company acted in good faith: Management must prove that it had reasonable grounds to believe it was not violating any law.
Contact a Schaumburg, IL Employment Lawyer
If your company is facing any type of FLSA violation or litigation, it is imperative that you seek professional legal counsel to ensure the long-term success of your company and avoid costly fines. Attorney Richard J. Miller represents small- to mid-sized businesses in a variety of legal matters with aggressive, efficient defense strategies that can keep your company open for business. With his prior experience and financial background, he understands how to resolve your legal issues so you can protect your livelihood. At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., our dedicated Illinois employment law attorney is well-versed in Illinois business law and is prepared to help you. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 847-995-1205.