Wage and Hour Laws in Georgia
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a wage and hour law that sets standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, time and pay record keeping, and child labor. The Georgia Minimum Wage Law also sets a minimum wage, but it does not apply to employers subject to the FLSA, a federal law. These laws apply to employees who work in Georgia, whether or not they live in the state.
Minimum Wage in Georgia
The FLSA’s minimum wage in Atlanta and the rest of Georgia is $7.25 per hour. This is the federal minimum wage in the United States. While Georgia also has its own Georgia Minimum Wage Law, it sets the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour, well below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour provided in the FLSA. The minimum wage applies to full-time and part-time workers but does have exceptions. Independent contractors, seasonal workers, or those who receive tips can be paid below the federal minimum, depending on the circumstances.
Employees paid less than the minimum wage may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor. Suppose an investigation finds that an employer has violated the law. In that case, the employer may be required to pay back wages to the affected employees. Alternatively, in some cases, employers may also be subject to civil or criminal penalties. In addition, employees paid less than minimum wage can bring a private lawsuit seeking their wages, liquidated damages, and attorneys’ fees. Compliance with the minimum wage law is essential for ensuring that workers in Atlanta are paid fairly for their work.
If you believe you are not being paid the legal minimum wage, you should contact the experienced wage and hour lawyers at DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick & Benjamin to determine whether you are covered under the Georgia Minimum Wage Law or the FLSA.
Who is Protected by the FLSA
In Georgia, an employee is covered by the FLSA minimum and overtime wage laws if they engage in interstate commerce or if their employer is in interstate commerce and it grosses more than $500,000 per year. If covered, the employer must pay their workers a minimum of $7.25 per hour and pay overtime. There are many exceptions to this rule, which is why you should contact DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick & Benjamin, experienced employment law attorneys in Atlanta. By understanding the wage laws in Georgia, workers can ensure that they are paid fairly for their work.
Overtime Pay in Georgia
In Georgia, overtime pay is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. This law requires employers to pay their employees overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a week. Overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular pay rate. Overtime pay is not required for exempt employees, such as executive, administrative, professional, or outside sales employees. There are other exceptions and exemptions as well. If you have questions about whether you are entitled to overtime pay, you should contact DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick & Benjamin, experienced employment law attorneys in Atlanta.
Meal and Rest Breaks in Georgia
Breaks are common in a lot of businesses but there are many common misconceptions about meal and rest breaks at work. Unfortunately, there are no legal requirements under Georgia or federal law that entitle employees to meal or rest breaks. However, employees should be paid for breaks that are less than 20-30 minutes. The law seems these short breaks as rest periods, not true breaks.
Many employers improperly automatically deduct time for meal breaks. Many wage and hour claims are generated when employees, with the knowledge of their supervisors, work through a meal break. Under the FLSA, meal breaks are not paid time only if they are more than 30 minutes long and the employee is relieved of all responsibilities. For instance, eating at your desk while emailing or waiting to answer the phone is paid time under the FLSA.
Damages for Violations of Wage and Hour Laws in Georgia
If an employer violates the FLSA, it can be required to pay back wages, liquidated damages, and the employee’s attorney’s fees and costs. A court can also order other actions to remedy the violation. As a result, it is important for employers to be familiar with their state’s wage and hour laws and to take steps to ensure compliance. Failure to do so could result in significant liability.
How DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick & Benjamin, LLC Can Help
If you feel you are not being paid fairly or properly, you can do a few things. First, try talking to your boss or HR department. They may be able to rectify any mistakes made with your pay. If you believe a pay practice violates the FLSA, say that. If that doesn’t work, you can file a complaint with the Department of Labor or contact an experienced attorney to help you get the money you are owed. Finally, don’t let yourself be taken advantage of – take action if you feel you are not being paid fairly. We are happy to discuss your matter without charge to answer your FLSA questions. Call DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick & Benjamin, LLC today to discuss your rights.