Federal and Texas laws protect you from the nonpayment of wages. While it is clear when there is an outright failure to pay an employee, most of the time, nonpayment takes the form of failing to pay the full minimum wage, failing to pay men and women equally, or failing to pay overtime. If you complain about not being paid the minimum wage, an equal wage, or overtime, and your employer retaliates against you, you should be aware that this is illegal, and you may be able to seek damages. It is important to talk to the Dallas retaliation lawyers at Rob Wiley, P.C. about your situation.Retaliation for Minimum Wage Complaints
Most workers are considered employees and are protected by federal or state laws that apply to employees. Some employees are misclassified as independent contractors so that an employer can avoid the prescriptions of the law. If you are not paid the minimum wage, we can help you file your claim with the Texas Workforce Commission, but we need to do so within 180 days of those unpaid wages coming due for payment. It is also possible to lodge a complaint with the federal Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor; you have two years after the date of the unpaid wages coming due for payment.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), your employer cannot retaliate against you for filing a minimum wage claim. Even if it turns out that you were incorrect about not being paid the full minimum wage, your employer is not allowed to terminate you, deny you a promotion, or otherwise take an adverse action against you to punish you for making in good faith a claim about payment.Retaliation for Equal Pay Complaints
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination with regard to equal pay based on the gender of the employee. Our retaliation attorneys can help Dallas employees bring claims based on this law. Equal pay is not restricted to wages; it can include bonuses, overtime, profit sharing, vacation pay, life insurance, travel reimbursements, and benefits. The EPA offers different protections than Title VII does. To show an Equal Pay Act violation, you do not need to show that there was intentional discriminatory conduct with regard to employee pay. Instead, you will need to show that you got paid less than an employee who works at the same establishment in the same place and performs substantially equal work under substantially equal working conditions.
It can be stressful to make an equal pay claim. It is normal to be concerned that your employer will retaliate against you for bringing such a claim. However, it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you under the Equal Pay Act based on complaining about or suing for discrimination, or based on testifying or participating in litigation or proceedings brought under the Equal Pay Act.Retaliation for Overtime Complaints
Our Dallas retaliation attorneys also understand the overtime pay rights of employees. Under the FLSA, you are restricted in the number of hours that you can work in a week at your regular pay rate to 40 hours. If you work more than this, you are supposed to be paid overtime, which is a wage that is one and a half times your standard wage. Only exempt employees and independent contractors are not entitled to overtime pay.
If you have not been paid overtime due to misclassification or another reason, you are entitled to make a claim for overtime. As with minimum wage violations, the FLSA prohibits retaliation for making a complaint about an overtime violation. Your employer is not permitted to demote you, terminate you, or otherwise retaliate against you for exercising your right to complain about unpaid overtime.Contact an Attorney to Understand Your Legal Options
You are entitled to be paid fairly, and to complain if you are not. It is stressful to face retaliation for making a minimum wage, equal pay, or overtime complaint in connection with your job. Most laws related to pay and benefits include anti-retaliation provisions. You may be able to recover damages for retaliation. You should consult an experienced retaliation lawyer in the Dallas area. Contact us at (214) 528-6500 or via our online form.