Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Serving all of RI and MA
“Wage and hour” law refers to a collection of federal laws that govern permissible employment practices with regard to certain wage-earning employees. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is responsible for overseeing the enforcement of these laws, which include the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Davis-Bacon Act, the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, and the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act. However, most wage and hour violations involve the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and at the Bottaro Law Firm, we have extensive experience enforcing employees’ rights under the FLSA when their employers fail to pay them as required by the law.
Understanding Your Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act is an important federal law for many public and private employees in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and nationwide. It establishes mandatory requirements regarding things like minimum wages and overtime pay, and it obligates employers to keep accurate records regarding employees’ hours and compensation.
Critically, the FLSA prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who file wage and hour claims. At the Bottaro Law Firm, we can help you stand up for your rights under the FLSA, and if your employer attempts to retaliate, we will fight vigorously to hold them accountable under the law.
Common Examples of Fair Labor Standards Act Violations
Employers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island regularly commit violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Whether a violation is intentional or not, if you have been harmed, we can help you seek just compensation. Some of the most common FLSA violations we see include:
- Unpaid Overtime. Employers must pay their employees for overtime (in excess of 40 hours per week) at the rate prescribed in the FLSA.
- Off-the-Clock and Unpaid Prep Work. If it’s part of your job, you are entitled to get paid. However, many employers require employees to perform duties before or after their shifts (such as running errands, inspecting machinery, or attending meetings) and expect them to do so without compensation.
- Unpaid Job-Related Expenses. Employers cannot require employees to cover job-related expenses, such as uniforms, if those expenses reduce their employees’ pay below the minimum standards established in the FLSA.
- Job Misclassification. Sometimes, employers will misclassify wage workers as salaried or overtime-exempt in order to avoid having to pay the FLSA’s overtime wage rates. If you qualify for overtime pay under the FLSA, your employer cannot avoid paying you by misclassifying your job.
If your employer has violated your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act, we can help you seek double your back pay. Your employer will also be required to pay your attorneys’ fees and court costs if your claim is successful. With our “No Fee Guarantee”, this means that you do not have to pay any legal fees to hire the Bottaro Law Firm to enforce your rights under the FLSA.
Were You Laid Off Without Notice?
Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the WARN Act), most employers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island with at least 100 employees must provide a minimum of 60 days’ advance notice prior to a plant closing or mass layoff. This includes notice to wage and salary workers and all managerial and supervisory employees. The WARN Act has a handful of exceptions, but these exceptions are narrow, and if you lost your job in a plant closing or mass layoff, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation about your legal rights. If your employer violated the WARN Act, we can fight to recover the pay and benefits that you should have earned during the mandatory 60-day notice period.
IMPORTANT: The Statute of Limitations for Most Wage and Hour Claims is Two Years
Under the FLSA and many of the other federal laws listed above, the “statute of limitations” for most wage and hour claims is two years. If you do not file your claim within the statute of limitations, you will lose your right to seek back pay and the other remedies that are available under the law. While two years may sound like a long time, this period can go by quickly, and you do not want to wait any longer than necessary to protect your legal rights.
Get Started with a Free, Confidential Consultation at the Bottaro Law Firm
For more information about your rights under the FLSA, the WARN Act, and any other wage and hour laws that apply to your current or past employment, contact the Bottaro Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation. Call (401) 777-7777, text attorney Mike Bottaro at (401) 300-5007, or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.