Employees give their time and effort to their employers, and in exchange expect to be paid on time and appropriately for all hours worked. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Violations of employment laws do happen in today’s high-pressure workplaces, often in the form of unpaid overtime, working off the clock, and unpaid rest breaks.
An Arlington employment lawyer from the Spiggle Law Firm could help advise you about the law and determine whether your employer may be liable for unpaid wages or other violations of state or federal employment laws.
Fair Payment for Overtime Work
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act governs many legal aspects of employment in Arlington, including overtime pay for covered employers. Unless they are exempt from the law, employees must be paid one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for any hours in excess of 40 hours worked in a given week.
The standards for determining whether you are exempt from FLSA overtime rules can be complex, but an employer cannot unilaterally determine who is or is not exempt. In other words, exemption depends on your actual duties and responsibilities, not your job title or compensation plan. Many employees who are called “managers” may still be owed overtime, and an employee is not necessarily exempt simply because they are paid a salary rather than an hourly rate.
Reasonable Work Hours
Under the FLSA, employees must be paid for all the time for which they are “suffered or permitted” to work. This means that you must be paid for all the scheduled hours that you work, and also for any additional time that you spend working—for example, by staying late. While your company may have a rule against working unapproved overtime, employees must still be paid for all time worked whether it was approved in advance or not.
Employees in Arlington must also be paid for time spent on preliminary or postliminary work that is central to the job, such as putting on specialized safety equipment. They do not, however, have to be paid for things that are incidental, like travel to or from work or waiting to be let in the door before a shift.
Essentially, any time your employer requires you to be present in the workplace and engaged in work must be paid time, regardless of whether you have clocked-in or clocked-out. An experienced employment attorney in Arlington could help you determine whether the time you have worked is compensable.
Proper Compensation for Breaks
Neither Virginia state nor United States federal laws require that adult employees get meal or rest breaks during a shift. However, when an employer does allow for breaks, the FLSA requires that any breaks of 20 minutes or less must be counted as work hours. Generally, breaks that last at least 30 minutes, during which an employee has no work duties, do not have to be paid.
Let an Arlington Employment Attorney Assist You
If you believe that you are not being paid at the correct rate or for all the time you have worked, our experienced Arlington employment attorneys could advise you about your rights and help you to take the appropriate action.
Additionally, we could answer any questions you have about many other employment problems, including:
- Sexual harassment
- Workplace discrimination
- Family medical leave
- Wrongful termination
- Military leave
- Non-disclosure & non-compete agreements
Contact the Spiggle Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.