Employers are required by federal law to adhere to the standards mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that pertain to wage and overtime pay.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division enforces these standards. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour (effective July 1, 2009), but some employees are covered by both federal and state minimum wage laws.
Severance, vacation, sick or holiday pay is not required under the FLSA although most companies do offer it.
Colorado’s minimum wage is $7.36 per hour as of Jan. 1, 2011. Employees covered by federal and state minimum wage laws must be paid the higher minimum wage.
Employees must be paid a tipped minimum wage of $4.34 per hour. Employees covered by state and federal minimum wage laws must be paid the higher tip minimum.
Employers must use cash wages to make up any difference should an employee’s tips plus the employer’s cash wage total less than the minimum hourly wage.
No more than $3.02 per hour in tip income can be used to offset tipped minimum wage.
Just because the laws are in place, it doesn’t mean some employers won’t try to get around paying a fair wage. Some examples of unfair or dishonest wage practices that occur in the workplace include:
Not providing wage statements
Minimum wage violations
Late payment at separation
Meal and rest breaks. Employers must provide rest and meal breaks.
Unpaid sales commissions
Unreimbursed work expenses
Having employees work “off the clock” and not paying for the work performed
Inaccurate wage and hour calculations. This could occur intentionally or as a result of an accounting error, but if the later occurs frequently, it could be a red flag.
There are many employment law attorneys in Denver County who are well versed in all areas of employment law as well as federal wage laws, but you want one with experience dealing with cases involving unfair wage practices and who has years of experience and a proven track record. You want an employment law attorney who can explain your rights under the law and choose the best course of action for you to take.