Can I Pursue Compensation for Wage and Hour Violations in Tennessee?
It is only natural for employers to expect the best out of their employees, and vice-versa. However, there are instances where a company may try to take advantage of its workers. This can be done through various wage and hour violations. For example, not paying hourly employees overtime if they have worked more than 40 hours in a week. In the state of Tennessee, the Labor Standards Unit enforces several labor laws, including the Wage Regulations Act. The Wage Regulations Act protects Tennessee employees from unfair practices regarding pay.
When an employer violates any terms of the Act, they may be subject to disciplinary action, including fines. If you or your loved one was not paid the proper amount, you may be able to seek financial compensation that you are owed with the help of an experienced attorney.
Tennessee Labor Law Violations
Most businesses throughout the United States are required to follow a strict set of standards in order to operate legally. Wage and hour laws regulate the minimum wage, leave, overtime pay, and break times that companies are required to give their employees. Tennessee does not have its own state minimum wage, so the federal minimum wage applies, which is $7.25 per hour.
Tennessee overtime laws are the same as the federal overtime law, which is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This means that eligible hourly employees who work more than 40 hours in one week must be paid no less than one and one-half times their regular pay for every hour worked over 40 hours.
Unfortunately, not every company adheres to the rules and regulations that are put in place. A few situations that would be considered a wage or hour violation include:
- You were required to work overtime or extra hours for which you did not receive payment.
- Your employer asked you to perform job duties or tasks “off the clock.”
- You were not allowed a 30-minute unpaid break when scheduled to work six or more consecutive hours.
- If you are a breastfeeding mother, you were not provided a private location to express your breast milk during the workday.
- You were denied overtime pay for extra hours that you worked.
Businesses that violate wage and hour or other employment laws can face criminal or civil penalties. These can range from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the circumstances, with costly fines or prison time if a party is found guilty.
Taking Legal Action
Under the FLSA, there are several different ways that you as an employee can go about recovering your unpaid overtime wages. You can file a claim with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Labor Standards. This agency will offer guidance in the best way to resolve the matter with your employer. However, if that does not work, you can file a wage claim with the Workforce Development Division. It is important to note that you may also file a claim under the FLSA since Tennessee does not regulate the minimum wage in the state.
Contact a Chattanooga Wage and Hour Lawyer
You work hard for your money, and if you do not receive what is rightfully owed to you, it can be not only frustrating but a hardship if you are supporting a family. If you or someone you know is suffering after not being paid overtime, you do have legal options. That is why it is essential that you speak to a knowledgeable Tennessee labor law attorney right away. At Warren & Griffin, P.C., we are committed to making sure you receive your fair share of compensation for the work you performed. To arrange a private consultation, call our office today at 423-265-4878.