Many people who work in the state of Georgia are unaware of the state’s laws with respect to wages. Given the current economic times, many individuals are just happy to have a job, regardless of whether or not they are receiving fair pay for the work performed. Still, any Atlanta employment attorney will tell you that it is important for people who work to know that there are certain hour and wage laws that the state must follow.
In general, the laws with respect to wages and hours in Georgia cover topics such as minimum wage, overtime, breaks, tips and the types of things for which an employer must pay. For example, Georgia’s minimum wage for certain employees is $5.15 an hour; however, the Federal minimum wage, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is $7.25 an hour. It is important for workers to realize that employers who are subject to more than one law are required to follow the law that gives their employees higher pay, which means that Georgia employers are required to pay at least $7.25 an hour for employees who are covered by the FLSA.
Some workers might not realize that Georgia does not have separate laws regarding overtime; however, certain workers might be eligible for overtime pay under the FLSA. Almost any Atlanta employment attorney can tell you that there are plenty of employers who attempt to avoid paying their employees overtime by classifying them a certain way. For instance, some employers might classify their employees as exempt “salaried” employees who will only be paid one set salary even though they might work more than 40 hours a week. This often applies to certain executive-level positions and professional or “white collar” employees.
Employers often do not know that they are violating FLSA laws. Mistakes often occur because some employers believe that all salaried employees are exempt; however, that is not true. Additionally, some employers think that any employee who has the title of a “supervisor” or “manager” will be exempt from receiving overtime pay. But it is crucial for such workers to know that they may still be entitled to payment for any hours worked over 40. Anyone who believes that he or she is entitled to overtime pay should consult with a skilled employment lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about his or her rights under the law.
Under Georgia law, any employer that fails to pay the required minimum wage amount to an employee might be made to pay not only the difference between the amount paid and the correct minimum wage, but also an additional amount that covers the amount of the original claim, as well as attorney’s fees and other costs if the violation took place within the last three years.
Any individual who believes that his or her employer has violated the wage and hour laws is encouraged to contact an Atlanta employment attorney at Parks, Chesin & Walbert. Know your rights and get the pay that you deserve.