Fair Pay Laws
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What Are Fair Pay Laws?
According to fair pay laws, an employee must be paid fairly by an employer in exchange for work. Although this sounds simple, wage and hours rules quickly become complicated.
Fair pay rules vary by state and the federal government also has its own guidelines.
Is My Employer Allowed to Make Me Clock out Whenever I Take a Break?
It depends on three factors:
- The lenght of the break
- State law
- What an employee does during the break
Some states require employers to give 10-minute paid breaks for every four hours worked. If a state does not require paid breaks, then employers only has to pay when an employee:
- Works through break time
- Has a break for less than 20 minutes
Can My Employer Choose to Pay Federal Minimum Wage Instead of the State’s Minimum?
No. Federal and state fair pay rules sometimes overlap. However, an employer is not allowed to choose. It must go with the one which gives the employee the most benefit. For instance, if you are hired in California and the local minimum wage is $9 per hour, then your employer is required to pay you at least this amount, even if the federal minimum is only $7.25 per hour.
Is My Employer Required to Pay Me Overtime?
The answer to this question depends on whether an employer is covered by state law or Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The employee must also determine:
- Status. Exempted employees like executives are not entitled to overtime pay.
- Particular job. Some jobs are exempt from overtime pay like independent contractors, volunteers, and outside salespeople.
I Receive Tips. Can My Employer Pay Me Below Minimum Wage?
Yes and no. Typically, an employer must pay either state or federal minimum wage. An employer is allowed to pay a less than minimum wage if the employee consistently receive at least $30 in tips per month. The amount must equal the minimum wage for each hour worked.
Should I Talk to a Lawyer about Fair Pay?
State and federal fair pay laws can be violated by an employer. Contact an employment lawyer regarding wage and hours rules and how to proceed if they were violated.
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Last Modified: 03-25-2015 11:03 AM PDT
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