Chattanooga Wage and Hour Laws

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1938, which established the minimum wage and overtime pay for employees in the United States. If a person is not being paid Tennessee’s state minimum wage, then he or she can file a claim against his or her employer. A person can also file a claim if he or she was not receiving the overtime pay that he or she is entitled to. If your employer has failed to abide by the Chattanooga wage and hour laws, contact an accomplished lawyer today. One of our dedicated attorneys could work with you and help you recover the wages your employer wrongfully withheld from you.

Employment Law

Chattanooga wage and hour laws are very different from the broader category of employment law. Wage and hour law focus on the specific times that an employee worked. Broader employment law frequently focuses more on harassment and wrongful termination. Most employment law cases involve some kind of harassment such as harassment following an on-the-job injury, sexual harassment, harassment based on race discrimination, disability discrimination, or religious discrimination. It can also include cases where someone is fired for whistleblowing, or where an employee is fired for making an FLSA claim.

Minimum Wage in Chattanooga

Chattanooga and the state of Tennessee do not have a specific minimum wage. TN state minimum wage is based on the FLSA, which is $7.25 per hour for most employees. For tipped employees, such as waiters and waitresses, the Chattanooga minimum wage is $2.13 per hour. These employees must make enough with his or her tips to make at least the federal minimum wage.

It is important to know that most employees are entitled to overtime, especially in a manual labor-type industry. Sometimes employees are paid a flat hourly rate no matter how many hours he or she worked, which could be a violation of the FLSA.

Misclassification and Lunch Breaks

Misclassification issues are common in wage and hour claims. Employers sometimes misclassify an employer to avoid paying benefits and taxes. Misclassification cases many times involve someone who is doing manual labor-type of work. Another way an employer may not follow wage and hour laws in Chattanooga is concerning lunch breaks. Chattanooga law requires a meal break for most employees every six hours. Employers sometimes require an employee to clock out 30 minutes or an hour, but then may demand the employee to continue working during the meal break and not pay him or her for it. This is a clear violation of wage and hour laws.

Common Misconceptions About Wage and Hour Laws

One of the biggest misconceptions about wage and hour laws is that if someone is paid salary, it means he or she are not entitled to overtime and do not have an FLSA case. The fact that someone may or may not be a salaried employee does not on its own dictate whether a person is entitled to overtime. A person’s job duties are the biggest factor to whether he or she is eligible for overtime pay. Most of the time, an employee has to fit a certain job description before he or she can be exempt from overtime. Therefore, many salaried employees are entitled to overtime pay.

How an Attorney Could Help

A person should contact a wage and hour lawyer as soon as possible once he or she thinks they might have an FLSA claim. There are many different reasons for obtaining legal counsel for filing a claim. An FLSA attorney can advise someone about the types of documents they need to prove his or her case. For example, a person may need to have all of his or her pay stubs for the past year. When filing a claim, an employer may also need to gather all of his or her time sheets and punch-in documents over the year. Having all of the necessary documents is very important for the employee’s case. If someone has a claim for an FLSA case, he or she is allowed to recover payment documentation for up to two years and, in some cases, three years.

If you have any questions regarding Chattanooga wage and hour laws or you are thinking about filing a claim, call an attorney who could help you recover your lost wages. Do not wait to get started on your case, time is essential for filing a claim. Call one of our lawyers today.