Wage and Hour Laws
In Connecticut, wage and hour laws are the rules that protect an employee’s right to get paid for every minute of overtime worked. Connecticut wage and hour laws also protect an employee’s right to receive a minimum wage.
If your employer has not paid you for the overtime or minimum hourly fee you deserve, you can consult with a wage and hour attorney in Connecticut.
Every Employee Deserves to be Compensated for Every Minute of Work
Both federal and Connecticut laws require employers to compensate their employees fairly for all hours they have worked. Federal wage and hour laws are found mainly in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Connecticut’s wage and hour laws are found in Connecticut General Statutes §31-58 et seq. The most well-known wage and hour laws are the minimum wage and overtime laws.
For a free legal consultation with a wage and hour lawyer serving Connecticut, call (855)-285-3425
Connecticut Overtime and Minimum Wage Laws
Any Connecticut employer who pays an employee less than the minimum wage or overtime pay that they are entitled to is in violation of Connecticut’s wage and hours laws.
Generally, Connecticut “labor laws” require employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of one and a half times their regular pay rate when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek unless one of the very few exceptions apply.
Also, an employee’s “regular pay rate” must be higher than Connecticut’s current prevailing minimum wage. If you are being paid less than minimum wage, you should contact a Connecticut wage and hour attorney immediately to investigate your claims.
Many employers count on their employees not knowing or understanding the labor laws, including overtime pay and minimum wage. Because of that, employees often lose valuable time in bringing a claim. If you believe you have not been paid the correct amount, you should not delay, as there are deadlines that could affect your claim.
One of the most common tricks employers use to get around paying overtime is to “misclassify” an employee as “exempt.”
Essentially, an “exempt” employee is one who is not entitled to overtime by virtue of the nature of their profession or position. The most common example is a doctor. There are few exemptions, and only certain types of employees are exempt from overtime in Connecticut.
Typically, exempt salaried employees fit into three categories:
- Professional positions
- Administrative positions
- Executive positions
To learn more about how Connecticut has narrowly defined those exempt, click here.
Employers Frequently Misclassify Employees to Avoid Paying Overtime
Many employers are under the impression that simply placing any employee on salary makes them exempt. Then after placing an employee on salary, they fail to maintain time records on them and disregard the requirement to pay time and one-half for work over 40 hours in any workweek.
If an employer misclassifies you as exempt from overtime or otherwise fails to pay wages for all hours worked, then the employee is entitled to bring an action for unpaid wages. Time is of the essence if you suspect you are not being paid properly.
In Connecticut, an aggrieved employee may only reach back two years for unpaid wages from the date of filing a complaint in Superior Court or with the Connecticut Department of Labor.
For hourly employees who are paid at a set hourly rate and “punch-in and out” every shift worked, tracking time worked, and the proper wages earned is fairly simple. However, it becomes more difficult when an employer “misclassifies” an employee as an “exempt employee” for the purposes of overtime and pays the employee a set salary or stipend.
Oftentimes, employers who fail to pay overtime in Connecticut rely on poor record keeping and use that as a defense in wage and hour claims. However, an experienced Connecticut wage and hour attorney will help you prove the actual number of hours worked and ensure that you get credit for each hour.
Does My Employer Have to Approve My Overtime?
It’s important to note that, unless you are exempt, you are entitled to overtime pay even if your employer does not approve it, so long as you worked more than 40 hours in that work week.
Simply put, if you worked over 40 hours even though you were not scheduled to, you are entitled to overtime. Employers do not get away with asking an employee to stay late or come in early without logging that additional time into the workweek.
Connecticut Wage and Hour Lawyer Near Me (855)-285-3425
Criminal Penalties for Those Who Fail to Pay Overtime Wages
Employers are under an obligation to pay their employees proper wages when due, and Connecticut and federal laws have been enacted to protect employees. The Connecticut Supreme Court has recognized that the primary purpose of the right to collect unpaid wages was to penalize and deter employers from failing to pay wages.
For that reason, employers who are found to have failed to pay proper wages and overtime when due will be ordered to pay double the amount of unpaid wages or overtime due, interest on the unpaid amount for the date the wages were due, and reasonable lawyer’s fees.
In addition, the individual person who is found responsible for making the decision to pay the employee the improper wages are personally liable for the judgment amount and, in some cases, may be found criminally liable.
If you believe you are not being compensated fairly for all hours worked, contact the wage and hour attorneys at Injured CT immediately to investigate your claims.