The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is taken very seriously across the United States. While it is in place to protect employees and is generally viewed from that perspective, employers in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania should be keenly aware of how allegations that the FLSA was violated may negatively impact their business. In many cases, it results major judgments and settlements to pay employees for misclassification, lost wages and more. When confronted with these challenges, having experienced guidance on FLSA issues can make a fundamental difference in the outcome.
Recent case shows potential penalties employers could face
To understand the importance of following the FLSA wage laws and the possible penalties for violations, it may be useful to assess recent cases in which employers received penalties and were obligated to compensate workers whose rights were violated. A restaurant was ordered to pay 82 employees more than $116,000 in back wages after it violated the law for minimum wage and overtime. The law states that workers are supposed to be paid for meetings they are compelled to attend before they start their shift.
These meetings are to check the menu, ensure training is current and to motivate workers. Since the meetings lasted between 15 minutes and a half-hour, the Department of Labor said there were wage violations when attendees went unpaid. In some instances, the workers went beyond the 40-hour workweek and should have been paid overtime. Workers who are paid based on tips get a base salary of $2.83 per hour. If their tips do not reach the minimum wage of $7.25, the employer must cover any difference. In total, the restaurant was ordered to pay more than $184,000 for its FLSA violations.
Having guidance for FLSA compliance is imperative for employers
The requirements under FLSA differ based on circumstances. In this case, restaurant workers are required to be treated in a certain way, but other types of employees are not covered under FLSA. They are executive employees, administrative employees and highly compensated employees. Employers should tailor how they handle their employees based on the applicable laws to be in full compliance. When there are disputes or accusations of wrongdoing, it is critical for all employers to be legally protected with experienced representation to avoid problems and address them if they arise.