Employment Law, Labor Law, Unpaid Overtime, Harassment
Employment laws and labor laws protect employee's rights. Employment laws cover hours worked, minimum wages, benefits, overtime pay, mandatory meal and rest breaks, harassment laws and laws against discrimination. There are both federal laws and state laws that protect the rights of workers. Employment lawsuits can be filed in situations where employers or managers violate employment laws. Quick-Links to important Employment sections on this page:
Employment Law OverviewIf you have suffered an employment violation, you can take the necessary actions with the help of an employment lawyer. Employment law can be complicated and the laws vary depending on where and when you file your claim; It is important that you find an experienced attorney to assess your case and determine whether it is applicable to go forward with your claim.
LawyersandSettlements makes it easy for you to find the right employment lawyer. We work with attorneys throughout the US and Canada who practice in this specialized area. As well, LawyersandSettlements.com provides comprehensive employment news coverage that aims to keep the public informed. We also provide an online legal news source that includes interviews with employment attorneys.
State Employment LawEach state has its own laws regarding employment. Some states have more stringent employment laws than others.
If you have suffered an employment violation, you can take the necessary actions with the help of a labor lawyer. Labor law can be complicated and the laws vary depending on where and when you file your claim; It is important that you find an experienced attorney to assess your case and determine whether it is applicable to go forward with your claim.
LawyersandSettlements makes it easy for you to find the right labor lawyer. We work with attorneys throughout the US and Canada who practice in this specialized area. As well, LawyersandSettlements.com provides comprehensive employment news coverage that aims to keep the public informed. We also provide an online legal news source that includes interviews with labor attorneys.
California Labor Law
California labor law differs from other state labor law, particularly regarding overtime pay. In California, employees who are not exempt from overtime pay are entitled to one-and-one-half times their regular hourly wage for hours worked in excess of eight in one day. Non-exempt California workers are further entitled to two times their regular hourly wage for working more than 12 hours in one day.
California also has separate overtime pay laws for people who work in the computer software industry and for those who are commissioned employees.
As of January 1, 2016, Colorado's minimum wage is $8.31. The tipped minimum wage is $5.29, provided employees make the difference in tips. No more than $3.02 per hour in tips can be used to offset the minimum wage.
Florida's minimum wage as of January 1, 2016, is $8.05 per hour. Some employees who earn tips may be paid a minimum wage of $5.03 per hour. Allowances are provided for employees who must maintain their uniforms.
In Georgia the minimum wage is $5.15 per hour, which is less than the federal minimum wage. As a result, many employees in Georgia are entitled to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Certain employees who are under the age of 20 and are in their first 90 days of employment can be paid $4.25 an hour.
The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 an hour. Minimum wage in Chicago is $10.00 an hour.
Maryland's minimum wage is scheduled to increase through July 2018. As of July 1, 2016 the minimum wage is $8.75. It will increase to $9.25 as of July 1, 2017, and further increase to $10.10 as of July 1, 2018. Tipped employees can be paid a minimum of $3.63 per hour.
Under Massachusetts law, employees must be paid $10.00 minimum unless they are tipped. Tipped employees can be paid a minimum of $3.35 per hour if their tips and hourly wages work out to state minimum wage.
Michigan law provides a minimum wage for most employees of $8.50 per hour. Tipped employees can make 38 percent of the minimum wage, provided their tips and hourly pay equal minimum wage. Minors aged 16 or 17 years can be paid 85 percent of the minimum wage, while new employees ages 16 to 19 can receive a training wage that equals $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment.
In Minnesota, minimum wage is determined by the size of the employer. Employers with gross sales of more than $625,000 must pay $9.50 an hour, while smaller employers must pay $7.75 an hour. Training wages of $7.75 an hour can be paid to employees who are less than 20 years old and in their first 90 days of employment. Workers under the age of 18 can be paid a youth wage of $7.75 an hour.
The minimum wage is Nevada is $8.25 an hour. Employers who provide health benefits must pay a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Employers must also provide rest periods of 10 minutes each for every 3.5 hours of continuous work.
As of January 1, 2015, the minimum wage in New Jersey is $8.38 per hour. Employers can pay tipped employees any wage, so long as the hourly pay plus tips equals the state minimum wage.
New York Labor Law
In New York, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. However, food service workers who make at least $2.55 per hour in tips may be paid a minimum wage of $4.60 an hour. Eligible employees should be paid overtime wages of one-and-one-half times their "straight-time" hourly wages for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in one week.
Minimum wage in North Carolina is $7.25 an hour. Tipped employees may be paid less, as long as their tips and wages equal at least the minimum wage.
Ohio's minimum wage is $8.10 an hour for non-tipped employees and $4.05 an hour for tipped employees. Employers who gross less than $297,000 per year must provide a minimum wage of no less than $7.25 an hour.
As of July 1, 2016, the minimum wage in Oregon is $9.75 an hour. For non-urban counties, the minimum wage is $9.50 an hour.
Pennsylvania's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
The minimum wage in Texas was set in 2009 and is $7.25 an hour.
In Washington, the minimum wage is $9.47 per hour. In Seattle, the minimum wage is $13.00 an hour. Fourteen and fifteen year olds may be paid 85 percent of the minimum wage.
In Wisconsin, the minimum wage for opportunity employees (those who are under the age of 20 and are in their first 90 days of employment) is $5.90. For tipped opportunity employees, the minimum wage is $2.13 per hour. For non-opportunity employees, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and non-opportunity tipped employees can be paid $2.33 an hour.
Federal LawsThere are several federal laws that protect the rights of workers. These include the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that covers employee wages and hours worked, including overtime hours and overtime wages. Under the FLSA, some workers can be exempted from overtime pay. However, those workers must fit the criteria the FLSA sets out for exemption. In cases where both the FLSA and state law apply, the law setting the stricter standards must be observed.
Under the FLSA, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Non-exempt employees must receive one-and-one-half times their regular pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. To be exempt from overtime pay, employees must meet requirements for salary level, salary basis, and duties. As of December 1, 2016, the minimum salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay will increase from $23,660 to $46,476 per year. The salary basis test will also be updated to allow employer to include certain bonuses and incentives to satisfy up to 10 percent of the salary basis test.
The FLSA also requires employers to keep accurate employee time and pay records.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family Medical Leave Act requires covered employers to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a number of reasons, including the birth and care of the employee's newborn child, care for a child after adoption or foster care placement, care for a spouse with a serious health condition and care for a child or parent with a serious health condition. Employees may also take time for a serious health condition that affects their ability to work.
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
The Occupational Safety and Health Act ensures that employees work in an environment that is free from recognized hazards. This means preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths by enforcing regulations related to workplace safety and health.
Employee Benefits and ERISA
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a federal law designed to protect employee benefits plans, including pension plans and health plans, set up by private business. Laws set out by ERISA cover employee stock options, 401(k) plans, other benefit plans and health plans. Employers who set up these plans have a duty to act in the best interests of plan participants and to provide those participants with accurate information about the plans.
Unpaid OvertimeFederal law generally requires that employees who work more than 40 hours in a week be paid one-and-one-half times their regular hourly wage. However, this overtime pay is only applicable to employees who are not considered exempt. Some employers try to get out of paying overtime pay by classifying their employees as executive, managerial or administrative. There are duties tests that can determine whether or not a person has been misclassified as exempt from overtime pay.
Employees who tend to be misclassified as exempt from overtime pay often have job titles that involve management, IT professional designations or computer programmer designations.
Wrongful TerminationAlthough many states are "at-will employment" states, meaning that an employee can be fired without cause at any time or can end his working relationship without cause at any time, there are still ways that employers can commit wrongful termination. It is illegal for an employee to be fired for discriminatory reasons, including because of race, sex, religion, disability or age. It is also illegal to fire an employee in retaliation for being a whistleblower.
Workers' CompensationWorkers' Compensation involves workplace injury claims, wrongful death claims, denied compensation claims and claims for loss of wages, rehabilitation and medical compensation. Workers' compensation laws vary from state to state. Furthermore, there may be strict deadlines regarding filing claims.
Social Security Disability InsuranceSocial Security Disability Insurance is a federal program designed to provide assistance to people who are disabled or unable to work. The process of filing for social security benefits can be complex and intimidating. Furthermore, if a claim is denied, the claimant can appeal the decision or file a suit in federal court. Individuals in social security insurance trials have the right to have an attorney represent them.
Workplace DiscriminationDiscrimination is the unfair treatment of a person or group of people based on any of the federally protected characteristics. It is illegal to discriminate against employees or potential employees on the basis of age, sex, mental or physical disability, race and national origin, religion and/or sexual orientation. Workplace discrimination can take the form of not hiring or promoting certain groups of people or unfairly terminating their jobs.
If you have suffered employment discrimination, you can take the necessary actions with the help of an employment discrimination attorney. Employment discrimination law can be complicated and the laws vary depending on where and when you file your claim; It is important that you find an experienced attorney to assess your case and determine whether it is applicable to go forward with your claim.
LawyersandSettlements makes it easy for you to find the right employment discrimination attorney. We work with attorneys throughout the US and Canada who practice in this specialized area. As well, LawyersandSettlements.com provides comprehensive employment discrimination news coverage that aims to keep the public informed. We also provide an online legal news source that includes interviews with employment discrimination attorneys.
Occupational DiseaseSome employees are subjected to conditions at work that compromise their health. These include exposure to asbestos, which can cause mesothelioma, and diacetyl. In some cases, the illness may not show up for years after the employee was last exposed to the toxin. However, some lawsuits have shown that even years later, an employer can still be held responsible for not providing proper safety gear to protect employees from toxins and workplace illness.
Jones Act Maritime LawPeople who work on the seas are protected by a law known as the Jones Act. The Jones Act applies to vessel operators and marine employers whose employees suffer a work-related injury or death. The Act allows injured parties, or their beneficiaries, to seek compensation for past and future economic and non-economic losses.
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LawyersandSettlements makes it easy for you because we work with attorneys throughout the US and Canada who specialize in employment law cases. As well, LawyersandSettlements.com provides comprehensive news coverage about employment law cases that aim to keep the public informed. We also provide an online legal news source that includes interviews with attorneys who discuss their employment law cases.
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Updated on Oct-20-16