Atlanta Wage & Hour Dispute Attorney
Various studies have estimated that, throughout the US, employers steal tens of billions of dollars from employees every year through misclassification, unpaid overtime, deducting break times from wages, and other illegal methods. Most employees do not know where to turn when they realize their wages are being withheld. After all, is it worth hiring an attorney for $100 of unpaid overtime? However, if you believe that your employer is engaging in wage theft, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney. Atlanta wage & hour dispute attorney Christine Forsythe at The Forsythe Law Firm, LLC will analyze your case and advise you on what steps you should take next. Because of her vast experience and proven track record in the courtroom, she is confident in her ability to negotiate a settlement or win your case in court.
Unpaid overtime is one of the leading methods of wage theft. Common tactics include failing to pay for work that is “off the clock”, deducting time from breaks that the employee is entitled to, and misclassifying employees. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) entitles workers overtime pay when they complete more than 40 hours in a workweek, or work more than 12 hours in a day. The Act does not apply to all employees, however.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, superseding Georgia’s state minimum wage of $5.15 in most cases. If you are being paid less than $7.25, your employer is likely engaging in wage theft. There are certain exemptions to the minimum wage, however. The minimum wage of $7.25 per hour may not apply to the following workers:
- Salaried executives, administrative workers, and learned or creative professionals earning over $684 per week
- Computer workers earning $684 per week or at least $27.63 per hour
- Highly compensated employees who earn $107,432 or more a year.
- Outside sales employees
- Tipped employees
- Disabled workers
Many servers and other employees who work for tips do not earn $7.25 per hour. The tipped minimum wage in Georgia is just $2.13 per hour. However, this is dependent on the average total wages, including tips. Employees must be making at least $7.25 per hour when their hourly wages are combined with their tips, otherwise their employer is violating minimum wage laws.
Misclassifying a worker is the practice of classifying an employee as an independent contractor. By doing so, an employer believes they can get away with not paying overtime or the minimum wage. In addition, the employer may be denying such an employee other vital benefits, such as paid time off, insurance, benefits under the FMLA, social security pensions, and more. There are many factors that differentiate an employee and an independent contractor. An attorney is necessary to prove the distinction.
Call an Atlanta Wage Dispute Attorney Today
Wage theft is a serious problem for millions of workers throughout the country. Similarly, misclassifying a worker or docking their overtime hours can cause serious problems for a small business owner. Christine Forsythe at The Forsythe Law Firm, LLC represents both employees and employers in wage disputes. We urge you to call 404.476.2717 to schedule a consultation today.