As a good, dedicated employee, you do your best to fulfill your job obligations and do what your employer asks of you. In exchange, you expect your employer to pay you fairly and respect your rights. If you believe that your employer is not doing these things or is taking advantage of you in some way, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to protect your rights and fight back against unfair treatment.
You have certain rights as an employee, including the right to speak out against unfair treatment. The Fair Labor Standards Act outlines several important things of which you should be aware, including the right to fair pay and various other protections. In some situations, illegal and inappropriate treatment from an employer could be grounds to pursue a claim through the civil justice system.
Know your rights
When you know your rights, you will be in a better position to defend them in the event you experience unfair wage practices, violations of overtime law or other types of mistreatments in the workplace. You will find it beneficial to understand the following about the FLSA and what it means for you:
- FLSA overtime — Non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked beyond the standard 40 hours per week. The overtime rate must be at least 1.5 times the normal hourly wage.
- FLSA minimum wage — Non-exempt employees must make at least the federal minimum hourly wage or the state minimum, whichever is higher.
- Hours worked and recordkeeping — Employers must count all hours during which an employee is working, on premises or doing job-related duties. Employers must also post a sign outlining FLSA rights and requirements in a conspicuous location, as well as keep accurate records of hours worked.
If you are unsure of how the FLSA applies to you, it may be helpful to first understand whether you are an exempt or non-exempt employee. After this, it is in your interests to have an understanding of what you can expect from your employer regarding pay, time off, medical leave and more.
Do you have a case?
If you suspect that you may have a valid case against your California employer because of his or her unfair wage and hour practices, you may want to begin by seeking an assessment of your case. This will allow you to understand the legal options available to you and provide insight regarding the most beneficial way forward.