“An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay” best explains the ideal relationship between employer and employee. But too often, employers use underhanded tactics to deny workers an honest return for their labor. At O’Brien & Marquard, P.L.C., we are determined to uphold not just the rules of fairness but also the federal and state protections workers are entitled to with regard to wages and overtime. It’s easy for employees to feel intimidated when inquiring about discrepancies in their paycheck, and that’s exactly what some employers count on. Fortunately, the experienced attorneys at our firm, serving workers throughout the Quad Cities area, can help level the playing field even against very powerful employers.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 is the groundbreaking law that established many of the standards industry uses today, including the eight-hour work day and the 40-hour work week. Under this law, workers must be paid a minimum wage and earn one-and-a-half times their regular pay for overtime.
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous employers who attempt to get around the law, using tactics that deny workers the overtime they deserve and even bring their earnings down below the minimum wage allowed by either state or federal law. Such tactics include:
Because the overtime law only covers wage workers, misclassifying employees as salaried or independent contractors is a common ruse to deny overtime. It’s important to understand that your employer’s classification is meaningless if the circumstances of your job do not fit that description.
Our firm has helped numerous employees recover unpaid wages and unpaid overtime, as well as benefits such as sick days. You may also be able to recover liquidated damages and punitive damages, if the employer’s behavior was particularly egregious.
Many state laws go beyond the protections offered by federal law. Illinois is known to be especially supportive of workers’ rights when it comes to wage and hour law. In matters of classifying employees, Illinois employers must meet the state standard. For example, no worker who earns less than $455 per week can be classified as a salaried employee.
To fully understand your rights under state and federal wage and hour law, it’s important to consult a knowledgeable attorney.
If your employer has denied you overtime in violation of state or federal law, O’Brien & Marquard, P.L.C. can help you pursue back pay and damages. Call 563-265-2392 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Our main office is conveniently located at 2322 E. Kimberly Road, about half a mile west of the I-74 interchange with U.S. 6. Depending on the nature of your case, we may be able to offer representation on a contingency fee basis.