There is nothing more frustrating than working hard and then not getting paid everything that you are owed. Sometimes employers will obscure or not even know what you are owed under federal and Washington State law, so it can be necessary to do your own research into these topics. A great place to start is by ordering the book, “I Didn’t Get Paid” by attorney Patrick J. Kang. It’s full of helpful information about your rights as a worker (and if you are resident of Washington State—it’s free!) In the meantime, here are some common issues that can arise between employers and employees.
Am I owed overtime?
Am I owed overtime? How much should I get for working overtime? Can my employer force me to work overtime? These are just some of the questions that get asked all the time by workers who don’t understand what their rights are and are worried that they might not be getting everything that they are owed. Here is a quick guide to overtime in Washington State:
Overtime pay is owed to non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a work week. You can find a list of some exempt workers here. A work week does not have to coincide with the calendar week, but must be a seven-day period.
Overtime pay is equal to time and one half of the regular hourly rate of pay. If you work salary, it does not necessarily mean that you are exempt from overtime pay. In cases such as that, if you are owed overtime pay, it would be based on the average hourly rate of pay.
For most employees, there is no limit to the number of hours that can be required to work in a week. For certain professions (such as nurses) and for teen workers, there are limits to the number of hours that can be worked in a week.
Should I get paid for mandatory trainings?
You should be paid for any time that your employer has deemed mandatory and that you are expected to engage in some type of work. This means that mandatory trainings, regular work hours, overtime and even a lunch where you are unable to leave your area and are still expected to work, are all work hours that you should be paid for.
What should I do if I think I’m not being paid everything I’m owed?
There are a few simple things you can do to make sure you are being compensated correctly: Keep records of your hours worked, ask for pay stubs if they are not provided to you, and read carefully all employment records. Do your own calculations to find out what you are owed if you are paid by commission or another non-hourly method of compensation.
You are also protected from retaliation should you ever need to file a claim against your employer. Your employer cannot take any negative action against you in response to exercising your rights. Whether you are seeking payment you are owed or alerting someone that your company is engaged in an illegal or dangerous practice, you are protected from your employer retaliating against you. This includes protection from termination and may, depending on your case, include other pre-termination actions.
Why You Should Choose Premier Law Group
At Premier Law Group, we understand that figuring out what to do after you have been in a wage dispute can be very confusing, and we are here to help you through the process. We are aggressive Seattle, Bellevue, Renton and Federal Way employment and wage dispute attorneys with years of experience in successfully representing people who have been denied fair compensation. We have won millions of dollars for our past clients and we will do whatever we can to help you recover the maximum possible compensation. If you have been in a wage dispute, call us at 206-285-1743.