Wage Issues – Overtime – Unpaid Wages
Leaving a job is usually very tough, for both the employee and the employer. Sometimes, bad feelings infect the relationship, and an employer refuses to pay the employee the money the employee has earned and to which the employee is entitled. Other times, the employer requires employees to work overtime without providing proper compensation for that overtime.
When an employer refuses to pay an employee wages at the end of an employment relationship, the Colorado Wage Claim Act provides a specific process and procedure to force the employer to pay what is due. If the employer fails to follow the law, it could be subject to stiff penalties, and even attorneys’ fees. This process has a very short time frame, so you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible to preserve all of your rights under the law.
When an employer requires an employee to work more than 40 hours per week without providing overtime compensation (or, in some cases, “comp time”), the employer violates the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Like the Colorado Wage Claim Act, the FLSA provides specific penalties for this failure to pay overtime wages.
Employers try many schemes to avoid paying overtime wages. Often, they will try to classify an employee as “exempt” from the FLSA under one of the FLSA’s overtime exemptions. Here’s the problem: many employees classified by their employers as “exempt” don’t actually meet the Federal definition of one of the exemptions. Don’t rely on your employer’s classification of being exempt as the final word on the issue — talk to Dan Slater about your situation to see if you actually are an “exempt” employee under Federal law.
Other employers try to skirt the law by classifying employees as “independent contractors.” Again, those classifications are fictional in too many cases. Under both the FLSA and the Colorado Wage Claims Act, it matters more what you did for your employer than what your employer calls you. Whether you were actually an independent contractor is a case-by-case analysis of many different factors. Again, don’t rely on your employer’s (or even your own) classification of you as an independent contractor — talk to Dan Slater to see if you really were an employee as defined by relevant law.
Wage disputes too often initially appear dismal because of the power an employer appears to have. However, a reasoned analysis by a legal professional could prove that the one holding all of the cards in your wage dispute is you. Call Dan Slater today to set up a consultation regarding your wage issues.