While state and federal laws are in place to protect workers from wage theft, it still happens, and it can severely impact employees. Employees who aren’t legally paid the minimum wage often don’t even realize this is happening because they don’t completely understand their rights. However, employees who are improperly denied minimum wage can recover those wages by reporting wage and hour violations. The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employers pay their workers at least the federal minimum wage, unless they are exempt from that requirement. When employers fail to meet these standards, an employee or third-party complaint can result in workers recovering those wages wrongfully denied.
The Minimum Wage in Kansas City
Employees who are covered by the FLSA and are not subject to an exemption can file a complaint for wage and hour violations if they are paid less than the minimum wage. As of June 2022, the federal minimum wage is $7.25, and in Missouri, the minimum wage is $11.15 (it goes up to $12.00 in 2023). An employer is legally obligated to pay covered, non-exempt employees whichever minimum wage is the highest—in this case, that would be $11.15. There are lower minimum wages for tipped employees, as long as those tipped employees receive enough tips to bring their total hourly pay at least up to the regular minimum wage.
Unfortunately, sometimes employers find ways to underpay their employees, which affects an employee’s livelihood. Filing a wage and hour violation report can help workers recover the wages they are rightfully entitled to and hold their employer accountable.
How to File a Wage and Hour Complaint
Employees who are being wrongfully denied their full wage under FLSA can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). In the complaint, you need to include the following information:
- Your personal information (name, address, and phone number)
- Your employer’s information (name, address, phone number, and type of business)
- Your job title
- Description of your work duties
- Your payment information (how much you’re being paid, payment method, how often wages are paid)
- A detailed description of alleged violations
- Dates of violation
Once the complaint is filed, the WHD reviews the complaint and conducts an investigation. The employee’s names will be kept confidential, and an employer can’t fire or otherwise discriminate against any employees who participate in a legal proceeding under the FLSA.
Minimum wage complaints can also be filed with state agencies, such as the Missouri Department of Labor’s Division of Labor Standards or the Kansas Department of Labor’s Office of Employment Standards.
Do You Need a Lawyer When Filing a Wage and Hour Complaint?
Wage disputes can be complicated because they often involve other legal matters like discrimination or fraud. Additionally, because wages involve federal and state law, these complaints often mean dealing with both, which can get complicated.
Often in the complexity of these laws, employees can be taken advantage of without realizing it, and that’s why it’s especially beneficial to have an experienced employment lawyer at your side. It’s important to be prepared when dealing with wage disputes because unpreparedness can put you at a disadvantage. A qualified and skilled lawyer can make the process less stressful and will make you feel confident that someone is fighting to protect your rights.
Qualified Kansas City Employment Lawyer at Hollis Law Firm
At Hollis Law Firm, our skilled employment lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and help make sure they’re protected throughout your case. When you work with Hollis Law Firm, you can be confident that you’ll have proper legal representation and have a dedicated advocate to help you obtain the justice you deserve. We understand that dealing with wage disputes is not only financially stressing, but also emotionally and mentally draining. An employment attorney is here to provide the legal support you need to help you recover the wages rightfully owed to you.