Federal laws in the United States have been protecting workers from exploitation since the 1930s. However, employers continue to attempt to exploit workers who do not fully understand their employment rights.

At Goldberg Weisman Cairo, our Chicago employment attorneys work to uphold labor laws and protect the rights of workers throughout the state. For decades, we have held unscrupulous employers accountable for trying to avoid paying honest workers an honest days wage.

If you suspect that your employer is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, contact our employment lawyers for a free consultation.

GWC: Illinois Employee Advocates

We take our commitment to workers all across the state very seriously.

We have been in practice for many decades, and we have fought for justice against small and large employers who violate labor laws.

The damages that will be available in a labor violation lawsuit will depend on your unique circumstances.

Only a free case review of the details of your case will reveal the potential damages in your case and your legal options.

Our firm will not charge you a dime unless you successfully recover your wages. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that was established in the 1930s to protect American workers. This law is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.

FLSA established a forty-hour work week, overtime pay at the time-and-a-half level, a minimum wage and regulated child labor.

Employees who feel that their labor rights have been violated have between two and three years to file a claim with the Labor Departments wage and hour division.

If the Labor Department determines that a labor violation has occurred, the department will begin an investigation and determine whether compensation is owed to a worker.

The majority of workers in the United States are covered by protections in the FLSA, but some employees are considered to be exempt.

Employers who do $500,000 in business each year are subject to the FLSA’s provisions unless there are exemptions. Exempt employees include white collar workers. However, employers often try to say that employees who are not exempt are indeed exempt.

In general, an employee may be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions of the FLSA if he or she makes at least $455/week and has a job from one of the following job categories:

  • Executives
  • Administrators
  • Professionals
  • Computer Employees
  • Salespersons

Exemption from overtime pay is a factual and legal manner that goes beyond an employers choice to exempt an employee by giving him or her a title. Some of the most frequent violations of the FLSA concern improper classification.

Industries That Commonly Violate Labor Laws

Employers who try to avoid paying proper wages will often ask employees to do certain tasks off the clock.

For example, employers who are trying to avoid paying overtime wages will ask employees to get to work early or stay late to do prep work or cleanup.

Doing work that is necessary to complete a job without clocking in is a clear violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Employers in multiple industries fail to uphold both federal and state labor laws. Employees in some industries are even more susceptible to labor violations, including:

  • Construction
  • Food
  • Retail
  • Security and law enforcement
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing

Workers whose employers are violating federal or state labor laws may be entitled to financial compensation for the pay that they did not receive.

Damages in FLSA Lawsuits

Labor laws exist to protect workers from unscrupulous employers who prey on a workers lack of understanding of labor laws.

When you understand your legal rights and the labor laws that protect you, you can defend yourself. Arm yourself with information and legal advice by talking to an experienced Chicago employment law firm.

The financial remedies that are available under a successful FLSA claim or lawsuit can be quite extensive. Employers who are found to violate the FLSA may be required to:

  • Promote employees
  • Pay back wages
  • Pay overtime wages
  • Rehire fired employees
  • Pay all attorney fees
  • Pay penalties

In a process called liquidated damages, employers may be required to provide double the amount of back pay that is owed in addition to interest on unpaid wages.

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