Wage & Hour Lawyer

Gerlach Employment Law defends employers facing lawsuits, such as overtime or unpaid wage claims, from current or former employees. We will evaluate your records, review overtime pay calculations, and evaluate current policies, which may enable us disprove allegations and overcome the burden of the claims.

We will investigate claims to help protect your company from future liabilities. We help businesses make sure that they are properly classifying employees into legally-recognized categories of employment as well as providing fair compensation.

We protect the investment employers make when they devote time and expense in their employees.

The Cost of Claims

If your business is not in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or you are unable to defend yourself against wage and hour claims, you may be responsible for paying back wages, owing liquidates damages, and paying the employee’s attorney’s fees and court costs. If you are unable to pay these  fees, you may have to request injunctive relief.

Employee Classification

Misclassification of workers can result in unfair compensation. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines how non-exempt employees should be paid, what counts as hours worked (on premises, on duty or otherwise), which hours should be recorded, and how to differentiate between exempt employees, contractors, and non-exempt employees.

Exempt

Most exempt employees are paid by salary. Executives, professionals, and administrative employees that meet specific criteria are often exempt, meaning that the overtime provisions from the FLSA do not apply. 

Non-Exempt

This class of employees is not exempt from FLSA provisions, may be paid on a salary or hourly basis, is entitled to minimum wage, and receives overtime pay after 40 hours at a minimum of 1.5 times the hourly rate.

Independent Contract Workers

Employees in this class are exempt from FLSA. However, in order to be considered an Independent Contractor, there are specific requirements that are determined by the Economic Realities Test. 

State & Federal Labor Laws

  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – Also known as the Wage Hour Law, this federal law establishes minimum wage for eligible employees.
  • Portal to Portal Act – This amendment to FLSA describes what “on the clock” means and accounts for rest breaks, lunch breaks, technology use, and  certain work activities. 
  • The Florida Minimum Wage Law – Employers in the private and public sector must pay the amount set by the state. As of September 30, 2021, the Florida minimum wage is $10.00 hour. This will increase yearly until 2027. 
  • Florida Child Labor Laws – These laws limit the amount of time and the time of day that minors are allowed to work.

Defending Employers

When an employee files a formal complaint regarding compensation, make sure you are prepared for any litigation that may follow. If you do not plan to pay them for the amount claimed, you will need to find a lawyer.

We defend against claims such as: 

  • Failing to pay minimum wage 
  • Failing to compensate employees for vacation time
  • Failing to pay employees working at home
  • Failing to provide final paychecks
  • Failing to pay tips or salary
  • Failing to pay commissions and bonuses
  • Failing to pay for trainings and company meetings

Protecting Your Business From Future Liability

In addition to defending against current wage and hour employee claims, we work with employers to prevent future losses. We will help prepare you to withstand investigations by state agencies or the the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The WHD is the federal government branch responsible for investigating wage and hour laws, including minimum wage and overtime hours.

Minimize Your Exposure by Developing Policies Designed to Provide the Proper Compensation.

We do this by planning for how to best structure commissions, bonuses, if not to mention donning and duffing, employee breaks, on-call requirements, incentive payments, and other programs to ensure that you are in compliance with the myriad regulations governing wage hour law.

How do you know if your employees are properly classified?

Employers are required to engage in a good faith analysis of exemption status using appropriate regulations from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Consult with a wage and hour lawyer to ensure that you are not violating statutes set by the FLSA. 

How many overtime hours can employees work in a day?

Florida has no law for overtime hour worked in a day. 

Do employees need to prove that they were working from home for unpaid wages claims?

The burden of proof for whether or not an employee was working from home is on the employer. 

What is the minimum salary for exempt employees?

The Department of Labor requires exempt employees to be compensated by a salary that is a minimums of $684.00 per week. These positions must also meet certain tests to qualify for exemption. 

Do employees need to prove that they work working from home for unpaid wages claims?

The burden of proof for whether or not an employee was working from home is on the employer.

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