The Rights Behind Federal Minimum Wage Laws

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Federal Minimum Wage

Workers in the United States are entitled to the federal minimum wage. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. Many agree that it should be raised, but most employers feel that it should remain the same. In fact, employers from time to time try to find a way to deny their workers the hard-earned money they have made.

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Some are mistaken when they believe that they are being paid less than minimum wage because of the withholding of state or federal taxes. Their employer has a right and is obligated, to withhold money for taxes. With that said, employers still try to violate federal minimum wage laws. Here are some examples of the way they do it:

  • Unpaid overtime
  • Forging timecards
  • Denying compensation for work done before the business opens
  • Workers being classified as exempt from minimum wage laws when they are not

What Is Wage Theft?

Any employer who practices any of these tactics is committing wage theft. The minimum wage laws do not regard any of the practices above as legal. Wage theft is when an employer does not pay for work done as demanded by law.

Doing More Than Paid For

Another form of wage theft is giving the employee the hours and responsibilities of a manager and then paying them a lesser wage than is due. This is an extremely common practice in retail as many employers will attempt to avoid raising wages and providing benefits.

What About the Food Service Industry?

Those who work in restaurants and bars are protected under federal minimum wage laws just like other workers. With that said, the laws are different for them. They are entitled to make the same profit as those who get a standard hourly pay rate; but the difference is the majority of it is supposed to come from tips. For workers in the food service industry who receive tips, they must be paid a minimum hourly rate of $2.13/hour from salary.

Even If Overtime Is Paid

Some employers are still committing wage theft when they pay for overtime hours when an employee works more than 40 hours in one week. They are typically doing this by not paying their employee time and a half the normal hourly rate for every hour over 40 hours. An employer must compensate a worker time and a half the normal hourly rate if they are working past 40 hours a week.

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Bringing A Case

A worker has the right to bring a case against an employer for wage theft. It is important to do it as soon as possible. Waiting could result in more lost wages. To maximize your claim, contact an attorney right away. Workers should not be afraid of retaliation. Retaliation of any kind makes the employer’s case much weaker. Retaliation would be considered further violations of federal and state employment laws. Filing a minimum wage violation to gain the money you’ve rightfully earned will help set matters right.


Call the Scott Law Firm today for help with your minimum wage violation claim.


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