One of the most common types of employment rights violations is that which has to do with wages. As we discussed in a post last week, wage theft is a significant problem in many workplaces, and it occurs in many ways. One way that a Wisconsin employer might violate the rights of a worker is by failing to pay the proper overtime wage as required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
During World War II, Rosie the Riveter became the symbol of women at work, women doing men's work for the good of society. Things changed after the war, and women have been playing catch-up ever since -- especially when it comes to wages.
National and state wage and hour laws are important legal protections to hourly workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the country. Unfortunately, many workers that get paid by the hour do not receive proper compensation. In an effort to remind businesses of their responsibilities to workers, the Obama Administration is stepping up enforcement of federal wage and hour laws. According to the Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, industries like health-care, construction and tourism are especially in the lens of the enforcement effort.
The United States Labor Department has created a new tool to help workers and employers sort out hours under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act has been the largest wage and hour law issue every year across the nation. Hourly employees and employers fight each other every year over additional hours spent on the job and about proper compensation. Like so many other issues, there is now an app for that.
There are three employment law trends that employers are following. The three labor law areas are Wage and Hour laws; sexual orientation, religious and disability discrimination and violence and bullying. Wage and Hour law violations remain the number one area of violation.
Every year thousands of employees submit various labor law claims to the Department of Labor. The labor law claims touch on various areas of the law such as Wage and Hour Law violations like overtime and minimum wage problems or family medical leave law violations. Faced with an overwhelming number of complaints, the Department of Labor has teamed with the American Bar Association to create a program that refers labor claims placed with the Labor Department with attorneys in private practice.
Two pharmaceutical companies, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Schering Corp., were dealt a blow in a federal wage and hour lawsuit that challenged federal overtime law. The United States Supreme Court denied the drug companies' petition to review a ruling made by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is a federal appeals court that has jurisdiction over the federal district courts of New York, Connecticut and Vermont. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that drug company sales representatives were covered by federal overtime laws.
A recent study conducted by the Seton Hall Law School Center for Social Justice has found that day laborers more often than not experience wage and hour law violations, a lack of proper safety equipment and other labor law violations made by employers. The study reviewed the workplace realities of 113 workers in the day labor market at seven different pick-up sites throughout the state of New Jersey.
According to a recent study conducted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, living wage requirements for businesses that receive government subsidies do not have a detrimental impact on business and job growth. A living wage is a base wage that covers an individual's actual costs of housing, food, clothing and other necessary living expenses. A living wage is not the same term as a minimum wage. The minimum wage is set by federal and state law. A living wage is normally thought of as covering true expenses of living where the legally imposed minimum wage is an absolute minimum an employee can be paid.
A farm outside of Yuma, Arizona has been fined $48,000 in civil penalties for violating child wage and hour laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Officials from the United States Department of Labor found seven children between the ages of 9 and 13 working during the farm's summer okra harvest. The fine against the farm was announced Wednesday.