Wage and hour laws: what you need to know

Cartwright - October 1, 2013 - Blog, Wage and Hour Law

The Cartwright Law Firm answers the question: What can I do if my employer is cheating me on overtime, or otherwise violating laws covering wage and hour compliance?

Have you ever wondered whether you are actually being paid properly according to the law that governs wages and hours? Are you sure that you are receiving the correct over-time pay, or are being paid for time “on hold” while waiting for the opportunity to perform or complete a job? It is important that every employee, whether hourly or salaried, be fully compensated according to labor law. Even if you are expected to be “on duty” but cannot leave the job while waiting for some other action to complete or transpire, you are still working, and thus, due fair compensation, including for overtime.

Noted singer and performance artist Lady Gaga was recently sued for failing to properly compensate an employee who performed duties ranging from packing her luggage to changing DVDs for her in the middle of the night. She alleged she was not paid overtime wages or allowed proper meal and rest breaks. As Lady Gaga will soon find out, money owed for these overtime and missed meal and rest breaks can add up fast, not to mention penalties imposed by law. Even Lady Gaga cannot base the compensation of her personal assistant on arbitrary standards – she, too, must follow the law governing wages and hours!

According to U.S. Department of Labor regulations:

§ 785.15 – On duty.

A stenographer who reads a book while waiting for dictation, a messenger who works a crossword puzzle while awaiting assignments, fireman who plays checkers while waiting for alarms and a factory worker who talks to his fellow employees while waiting for machinery to be repaired are all working during their periods of inactivity.

If you have questions as to whether you are being properly compensated for the time you actually work, contact the Employment Law Specialists at The Cartwright Law Firm today for a free consultation about wage and hour laws and how they may affect you. We have substantial experience in helping employees determine whether they are being treated properly under the law.


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