As lawyers for the workers, we make sure that employers pay you for the long hours you put in and give you the wages you are owed.
Nearly all employers nationwide are required to pay their employees at least the minimum wage. The exact minimum wage employees are entitled to receive depends on the state and, in some cases, the city in which they live or work, but employers may not pay less than the federal minimum wage. As of January 2023, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
If your employer has paid you less than minimum wage, you could be entitled to take legal action. In addition to seeking compensation for unpaid wages and backpay, you could also be entitled to interest and certain non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. At Josephson Dunlap, our minimum wage violation lawyers can help you with every aspect of your claim. We understand the many challenges you are facing, and we have the resources and experience to help.
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Minimum wage is the lowest allowable wage per hour that employers can legally pay their employees. There are very few exemptions to minimum wage; nearly all employees across most industries are entitled to receive at least the minimum wage for all hours of work performed.
There are three different types of minimum wages in the U.S.:
- Federal Minimum Wage: The federal minimum wage is outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and applies to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. As of January 2023, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
- State Minimum Wage: State minimum wages are set by various state labor laws; as such, they differ from state to state. While states can set their own minimum wages, they must be at least as high as the federal minimum wage.
- Local Minimum Wage: Local minimum wages are set by various local laws and may differ from the minimum wage for the state in which they are located. However, local minimum wages cannot fall below the state (or federal) minimum wage.
One example of how federal, state, and local minimum wages work can be seen in California. There, the state minimum wage is $15.50 per hour (as of January 2023), which is significantly higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. This means that all employers who are subject to minimum wage laws in California must pay all employees who are not exempt from minimum wage at least $15.50 an hour. However, in San Francisco, the minimum wage is $16.99 per hour (as of January 2023). Employers in San Francisco, therefore, must pay their employees at least this amount (with some exceptions).
What Employees Are Exempt from Minimum Wage?
There are few exceptions to minimum wage laws, but they do exist. It is important that you understand minimum wage exemptions and whether they apply to you.
The following types of employees may be exempt from minimum wage laws:
- Outside salespeople
- Regularly indentured apprentices
- Unpaid interns
- Certain individuals who are related to the employer (spouses, parents, children, etc.)
- Certain employees with physical or mental disabilities who work for nonprofit organizations
- Certain other workers who work for nonprofit organizations
Generally speaking, however, most employers must pay their employees at least the minimum wage. This includes employers who take tip credits; though they may pay an hourly rate that falls below the applicable minimum wage, they are responsible for making up the difference between how much their employees earn and the minimum wage if the employees do not make up the difference in tips.
Contact Josephson Dunlap for Help with Your Minimum Wage Violation Claim
We are here to help you with every aspect of your case. With over two decades of experience and a long history of success, including hundreds of millions of dollars recovered in unpaid wages and overtime, our minimum wage violation lawyers have what it takes to aggressively advocate for you. We have helped more than 100,000 clients nationwide in complex wage and hour claims; learn how we can help you today.
What to Do If Your Employer Fails to Pay Minimum Wage
It does not matter whether your employer meant to pay you less than the minimum wage or not; if they have failed to pay you at least the minimum wage for your area, you could be entitled to take legal action.
If your employer committed a minimum wage violation, you should take the following steps:
- Document all instances of wage violations, including the dates and amount of wages not paid
- Request the full payment of wages to which you believe you are entitled
- File a complaint with the relevant state labor department or local attorney general's office
- Seek legal advice from an employment attorney about filing a private lawsuit for unpaid wages
The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be. We encourage you to keep copies of all important documents and paperwork related to your claim, including emails and other communications with your employer, paystubs, timekeeping records, and statements from other employees. At Josephson Dunlap, we can utilize this evidence to develop a powerful case on your behalf and seek the full, fair wages you are owed.
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