While you might assume that your employer understands and follows the labor laws, many employers routinely violate the laws either intentionally or unknowingly. There are five primary laws that employers regularly violate. Some of these violations are so common that most workers do not realize that they aren’t allowed. If your employer has violated the law, you may have legal rights. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler may be able to help to protect your rights.
1. Prohibitions against discussing salary
Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees are allowed to talk about their wages among themselves, and employers cannot stop them from doing so. If employees are not allowed to talk about pay, they cannot organize effectively. Many employers have policies that forbid discussing pay despite the law.
2. Improperly classifying you as exempt under the FLSA
Some workers are exempt under the FLSA from overtime pay rules. However, the type of the work that you do governs whether or not you are truly an exempt worker. If you are a non-exempt employee, you must be paid at a rate of one-and-one-half times your normal hourly rate for every hour that you work in a week over 40. Exempt employees are those who perform professional or high-level executive work, outside sales and a few other narrow categories. Many employers classify employees as exempt when their jobs do not meet the guidelines.
3. Letting you work off of the clock or asking you to do so
If you are a statutory, non-exempt employee, you have to be paid for all of your working time. This includes the time that you spend outside of your work hours taking calls or answering emails.
4. Improperly classifying workers as independent contractors
Some employers incorrectly classify workers as independent contractors when they should be considered to be employees. Employers cannot control when, how and where you work if you are an independent contractor. If the employer does control these things, then you are an employee and must receive the same benefits that other employees receive.
Disciplining workers for complaining on social media about their jobs
Employees are allowed to talk about their pay and their working conditions under the National Labor Relations Act. The National Labor Relations Board has ruled multiple times that employers who try to limit or control what their workers post on social media are in violation of the NLRA. However, workers are not protected when they post malicious and false statements about their employers or engage in retaliation, discrimination, bullying or harassment.
What to do if your employer is violating the law
In most cases, you can simply talk to your supervisor if the company is violating one of these laws. You can simply tell them that you wanted to bring it to the company’s attention instead of immediately taking a confrontational stance. If your employer doesn’t give you the right results, you should talk to one of the experienced employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler. Fill out our contact form, and we will contact you shortly.