The importance of protecting fair wages

Ensuring that workers receive the wages they have earned is important. Because state and federal wage laws can be complex, it is also important for workers to understand how to protect their rights.

Because wages are an understandably high priority for workers, it is essential for them to understand wage and hour laws and what to do in circumstances of wage and hour violations. Federal and state laws set minimum wages; states can have their own minimum wages but it cannot fall below the federal minimum wage. The same laws also identify when a worker is entitled to receive overtime pay for working long hours. Hours worked in excess of 40 hours a week usually qualify for overtime pay.

It is important to know how to hold employers who violate the law accountable and protect the rights of workers. To do that, workers have to know their rights. Employers may violate the rights of workers by failing to pay the correct minimum wage; paying a training wage when a worker should receive more; not properly paying overtime wages; requiring employees to work off the clock; deducting too much for tips; or making deductions for wages paid in goods such as meals or food.

For workers, it is important to protect their wages and ensure they receive what they have earned. Because that is their livelihood and the way most support their families, workers should always be familiar with their wage and hour rights and protections and how to hold employers accountable.

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