As a Seattle employment attorney, I’m sorry to say that not all employers treat their employees as well as they should. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release today in which it reports that a health-care company in Kentucky has been ordered to pay $210,000 in back wages to a group of 22 home-health care employees. DOL filed suit against Aspen Nursing Services, Inc. for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law designed to ensure that employees receive fair compensation and working conditions. The employees involved in the suit were paid a daily rate, regardless of the number of hours worked in a day, or in a week. In many cases the daily rate, when divided by the number of hours worked, came out to less than minimum wage, and many workers worked over 40 hours per week without the legally required time-and-a-half overtime pay. A federal court has ordered Aspen to pay those 22 employees for the wages that they should have received in the first place.

The FLSA, which was originally passed in 1938, has many complications, but its basic function is to establish a minimum wage, require time-and-a-half for overtime in most jobs, and limit the use of child labor. This case highlights one very important aspect of the law, which is to ensure that employees who are paid a daily rate, a piece rate, or whose income depends on tips, still must make at least minimum wage. Sadly, not all employers observe all requirements of this law, and try to pay their employees less than the fair wages that it requires.

If your employer owes you back wages, or is paying you less than minimum wage, contact a Seattle employment attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. Coming forward may be difficult, especially in a tough economy, for fear of losing the job altogether, but you deserve to be compensated fairly for the work you do for your employer. I may be able to help you recover back wages, and have experience working with all kinds of employers. For more information and a FREE CONSULTATION call me at Premier Law Group at (206)285-1743.

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