Work with an Experienced Minimum Wage Laws Attorney
Minimum wage laws attorney Chris Olsen in San Diego, CA, can help if your employer is disregarding the minimum wage laws. As a skilled employment law attorney, he will hold them legally responsible for their actions and secure adequate pay for your work. By law, employers are required to pay employees a minimum wage. The federal government has set a minimum wage; however, many states and even some cities also impose a minimum wage above the federal standard. Employers are able to pay their employees their state’s minimum wage or more, but never less than the state-imposed or federal minimum wage—whichever is higher. Not receiving at least minimum wage for your work is a violation of your rights.
Necessity of Minimum Wage
Minimum wage is often a hot topic in the United States. Those on one side of the issue believe that the minimum wage needs to be raised, while the opposing side believes that raising minimum wage has consequences for small businesses and the economy overall. Despite the debate, minimum wage is necessary. Having a federally and state-imposed minimum wage ensures that employees earn a living wage, allowing them to maintain a certain standard of living. Minimum wage also helps to narrow the gap between classes in the United States—primarily the rich and the poor—and helps to reduce poverty overall. Additionally, it provides low-income families with assurance that they can expect to earn the minimum wage and no less.
The federal government has set a minimum wage; however, many states and even some cities also impose a minimum wage above the federal standard.
The federal minimum wage was last raised in 2009 to $7.25 per hour. The problem with the federal minimum wage is that it does not account for inflation, which is constantly rising, and in many areas, the federal minimum wage is not a sufficient living wage. In states like California, where the cost of living is much higher than other areas of the country, the state governments have imposed their own minimum wages, which are higher than the federal minimum wage. As of 2016, the minimum wage in the state of California was $10.00 per hour. San Diego has imposed an even higher minimum wage of $10.50 per hour and has proposed to raise it to $11.50 per hour beginning in 2017.
Ways Employers Avoid Paying Minimum Wage
Despite the many laws and regulations in place to protect employees, many employers attempt to get around paying their employees minimum wage. A common tactic is to request an employee to stay late or arrive early without additional pay. Employees whose jobs require them to drive between business locations or job sites should be paid for their time driving from place to place, but some employers don’t pay for this time, nor do they reimburse their employees for gas. Still other employers will unfairly label workers as independent contractors to avoid paying minimum wage. An employer may also choose to hire undocumented immigrants at lower pay rates. In certain industries where workers receive tips (such as in restaurants), an employer may overlook the fact that their employees’ wages plus tips do not equal minimum wage.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
It is your legal right to earn at least minimum wage. If your employer is paying you less, contact Olsen Law Offices today to schedule your free consultation to discuss your case.