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Law Offices of Mark J. Beutler, P.A.

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Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws

Owners of small businesses, such as restaurants, often have little training in employment laws.  In addition, restaurants employee many tipped employees.  Tipped employees can be paid less than the minimum wage, but only if certain requirements are met.  Trivial procedural errors can result in loss of the tip credit for all tipped employees for every hour logged going back several years.  Failure to observe the requirements for paying tipped employees can end a small business.  Calculating overtime pay for tipped employees is also complicated and can lead to overtime liability.

We assist employees in asserting their right to payment of all salaries and wages that the law requires.  Employers should address potential minimum wage and overtime issues before plaintiffs bring a lawsuit or the government begins an investigation. We can assist employers in reviewing company policies and practices, identifying areas of non-compliance, and making suggestions for how to minimize the risk of subsequent litigation or government investigation.  We work to develop strategies that make business sense, recognizing the implications for the business operations going forward.

We regularly litigate overtime and minimum wage cases, including single-plaintiff as well as class or collective actions in federal and state courts.  You can expect your case to be vigorously pursued or defended.  We provide realistic assessments of potential recovery or liability as early as possible in the litigation.

If you believe you have been subjected to unlawful wage practices, or are being wrongly accused of unlawful wage practices, we can advise you on how best to remedy the problem.

While state and federal laws ensure employees are fairly compensated, misunderstanding of and confusion about those laws can lead to employer violations of the laws' requirements and employees not being paid properly.

Employees are required to be paid a minimum hourly rate for all hours of work performed.  Failure to pay at least that minimum rate is a violation of state and federal law. Similarly, subject to certain exceptions, employees are required to be paid at least time and one-half of their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Employees cannot waive their rights under this law.

In determining whether an employee is entitled to minimum wage or overtime compensation, the actual job functions performed by the employee, not the employee’s job title, determines whether an employee is exempt from receiving overtime.  Even salaried employees often are entitled to overtime pay.  Although independent contractors are not covered by these laws, whether a person is an employee or independent contractor is determined by the relationship between the individual and the employer, and not by whether the person is designated as an independent contractor.

Minimum wage and overtime laws are difficult for many employers to properly comply with. Through many twists and turns, including who is or is not an "exempt" employee; what constitutes "work" and what does not; and what is, or is not, overtime, many employers, despite their efforts, still violate the FLSA.


Inadvertent violations of the FLSA can be time-consuming and expensive to defend.  Liability provisions are onerous. The statute provides for double damages and attorney’s fees to be paid to the prevailing employee.  The attorney’s fee claim can exceed the backpay liability by several multiples. There are lenient class certification procedures that can further expand liability.

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