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Schaumburg employment lawyerWhen you own a company, there are federal, state, and local laws you must follow in order to stay in business. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), U.S. employees have the right to receive a minimum hourly wage, in addition to “time-and-a-half” overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours within a seven-day period. It also prohibits the employment of minors in “oppressive child labor” conditions. If business owners do not adhere to these rules and regulations, then workers may file lawsuits against their employers if they can show that the company is in violation. However, the company can defend against such charges as long as they can prove they did not violate any laws. An experienced employment attorney can help employers with providing this “burden of proof” in Illinois.

Potential Violations

There are several ways that a company can be in violation of FLSA rules, such as not paying its workers at least minimum wage or classifying them as non-exempt or contractors when they should be exempt or salaried. In other cases, upper management may use harassment tactics or discriminatory language to intimidate employees into doing certain tasks. The main areas in which an employer can be sued include:

  • Wages

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Schaumburg employment lawyerIllinois employers must meet certain regulations set forth by the federal and local governments to operate. These include safety protocols to ensure a safe and secure working environment, as well as a minimum wage amount paid to employees. On July 1, 2020, the Illinois minimum wage was set to $10.00 per hour for those workers who are age 18 or older. For jobs in which gratuities are paid to employees, such as in restaurants, an employer is allowed to pay 60 percent of the minimum wage to its workers. In addition, overtime must be paid after 40 hours of work per week. When companies violate any of these employment laws, they can face legal consequences.

Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a U.S. labor law that gives workers the right to a minimum wage, and “time-and-a-half” overtime pay after working over 40 hours a week. It also prohibits the employment of minors in “oppressive” work conditions. FLSA has four main components:

  • Minimum wage

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Cook County employment lawyerA typical workweek for employees in the United States consists of 40 hours. However, many workers actually spend more time performing their jobs. For jobs that are paid on an hourly basis, anything over 40 hours is usually considered overtime. Although many salaried (exempt) workers work 50-60 hours a week, they may not be eligible for overtime pay depending on their company or employment contract. The Illinois Overtime law (called the Illinois Minimum Wage Law) mirrors the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in many ways. Similar to the FLSA, the Illinois overtime law requires that non-exempt employees receive overtime pay equal to 1.5 times their regular hourly pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week. With so many employees working remotely now in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, it may be difficult to track employees’ hours regarding overtime if they are working from home.

Keeping Track of Hours Online

Since remote employees are generally entitled to the same legal protections that on-site workers have, working remotely can present unique challenges that should be addressed to ensure a company is legally compliant. Employers have certain obligations regarding employees’ hours and wages for overtime pay. As a business owner, accurate record-keeping is imperative. Detailed reporting ensures that management and workers are following proper procedures and company policies.

Businesses throughout the country, including Illinois companies, have implemented remote-work arrangements for their employees due to the coronavirus outbreak. In many cases, this is the first time a company may have allowed its employees to work from home. Essential businesses have remained open during the pandemic, such as banks, grocery stores, and hospitals. Non-essential businesses were temporarily closed, including service industries like hair and nail salons, gyms, and fitness centers. These companies had to pause operations since those workers cannot do their jobs from home. On the other hand, office workers in the business field who do the majority of their work on a computer can perform their duties remotely as long as they have a computer and an Internet connection.

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Overtime Pay LawyerThe Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law put in place in 1939 to protect the rights and well-being of American workers. While the act has changed since its inception 80 years ago, it still retains many of its original goals, such as the minimum wage, overtime pay requirements, record keeping, and child labor standards. The FLSA is an important part of the American workforce and protects the rights of most workers.

Are Employers Required to Pay Overtime?

According to the FLSA, if an employer permits or requires an employee to work overtime, that employer must pay the employee for those overtime hours. Overtime is defined as any hours worked after 40 hours in a single workweek. The FLSA also requires overtime pay be no less than the employee’s usual rate plus half.

For example, a retail worker normally makes $12 per hour. This week, they worked a total of 48 hours, meaning they have eight hours of overtime they must be compensated for. Their overtime rate would be $12 + $6, for a grand total of $18 for every hour worked over 40 hours in a week. This means the worker should receive a paycheck of $720, $576 for the first 40 hours worked, and $144 for the eight hours of overtime.

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Schaumburg wage and hour dispute attorneyWage and hour disputes remain a continuous thorn in the side of many employers. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there are two methods federally approved to determine a salaried employee’s “regular rate” of overtime pay. Aside from exempt salaried employees, employers must choose to pay either a fixed or fluctuating workweek salary, with additional caveats for any hours worked over 40 hours. Employers should select their option based on the needs of the company as well as the laws in their state.

What Is the Difference?

Under the traditional fixed salary workweek method, an employee works the same amount of hours and earns the same paycheck every pay period, as well as “time-and-a-half” -- 1.5 times the normal hourly rate -- for all hours worked over 40 in the workweek. Alternatively, under the fluctuating workweek (FWW) method, an employee earns the same rate of pay regardless of hours worked.

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