Saturday, May 27, 2017

Common Violations in Employment Law #1: Overtime

As good jobs have become more and more scarce due to manufacturing outsourcing and international trade deficits, employers are beginning to realize the benefits of a surplus in the labor force.  Eventually if we have more people looking for jobs than what is available, we have a situation in which the wages of the laborer will drop due to increased demand for work. There are however, certain protections in favor of a minimum wage with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which establishes a minimum wage at $7.25 per hour, with few exceptions.  Along with minimum wage, this federal law also establishes the requirement that employees be paid overtime wages, that is time and one-half, for every hour worked passed  a 40 hour work week.  A common Misconception among employers is that they can simply bypass this overtime pay requirement by classifying their employee as Salary based pay.  In this situation employers simply pay their employees a fixed amount of pay every week regardless of amount of hours worked.   The first criteria that must be met in order to qualify for overtime exemption is that the employee must be paid a minimum of $455 per week. Depending on their job description and actual duties performed, there are many other criteria that must be met.  There are also times when hours are transferred from one work week to the next to avoid going over the 40 hours in one week.  This also is not allowed.  Regardless of what you employer has said or made you agree to, overtime pay may not be waived.  If you worked it, you earned it. If you have any questions or concerns that your rights may have been violated, feel free to call The Vargas Law Office for a free consultation.

Right of the People

In the midst of all the violence regarding police brutality and retaliations by citizens, it becomes clear that a change is well over due.  Gun control is a hot topic as a solution to the problem, but that addresses only one side of the issue.  It only prohibits the people, in thier right to bear arms and defend themselves, even from their own government, from retailiating with firearms.  The solution must be a balanced one.  It seems to me that the police force, the very same goverment institution that was created to serve and protect the people, have become too militarized and have been given too much power to perform the service they were intended for.  Tighter gun restrictions combined with a non lethal police force should be the aim of your representatives going into the next legislative session.  Lastly, I'll leave you with an excert from the Declaration of Independence that seems to touch on this issue:  "We hold these truths to be self evident that all Men[sic] are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that amoung these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted amoung Men, deriving their just powers by the Consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it."