Wage and hour claims, or wage/hour disputes, are conflicts that are specific to an employment setting. They involve disputes over how much wages an employee is paid, or how many hours they are working. In many cases, they involve very specific issues such as:
- Overall pay rates or salary rates
- Violations of state or federal minimum wage rates
- Overtime wages
- Issues regarding the amount of hours the person is required or allowed to work
- Disputes over employment contract terms
For instance, a common scenario is where an employer fails to pay a worker overtime wages when they are entitled to such pay. These types of disputes often result in some very specific legal remedies.
What Are Some Common Remedies in Wage and Hour Claims?
Most wage and hour claims result in a damages award that is issued from the employer to the worker. These are often sufficient to provide relief for losses caused to the employee. Generally, these damage awards cover the unpaid wages, plus other losses that may be related to the claim (such as lost profits on a deal, etc.).
In addition, other remedies may include:
- Requirements that the employer change their payment and hour requirements (so that they conform with state/federal laws)
- Investigations into the company’s overall record-keeping practices
- Firing of a supervisor or manager
- Reinstatement of the worker back to their previous position (if they were also terminated in connection with a dispute)
How Are Wage and Hour Disputes Proven?
Wage/hour disputes often require analysis of many different documents and statements. These can include:
- Pay stubs
- Work logs (input of clocking in/out, etc.)
- Tax papers
- Receipts and other documents
In addition, witness testimony may also be required (for instance, statements from co-workers regarding their own pay situation).
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Wage and Hour Claim?
Wage and hour claims can often involve some fairly complex legal issues. You may wish to hire an employment attorney if you need representation regarding a wage/hour dispute. Your attorney can inform you of the laws in your state and can explain your rights regarding your wages. Also, if you need to appear in court or to file an investigation with a state agency, your attorney can assist you with those specific matters as well.