FLSA & Wisconsin Minimum Wage Violations

Every Wisconsin Employee Has the Right to Earn Wisconsin’s Legal Minimum Wage

Attorneys Experienced with Prosecuting Minimum Wage Violations

Both the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and Wisconsin law require employers to pay their employees a minimum wage of at least $7.25 per hour. In addition, the FLSA and Wisconsin law require that employers pay minimum wage for all hours worked. While this seems simple to accomplish, FLSA and Wisconsin law minimum wage violations can happen in a variety of ways, including:

  • Off-the-Clock Work: When an employee is suffered or permitted to work hours that are not recorded and paid for, that employee’s right to the FLSA and Wisconsin minimum wage may be violated. For example, an employee may be told to punch out at the end of his or her scheduled shift but permitted to work after he or she punches out. If the additional work occurring after the employee punches out is not paid, the employee’s right to the minimum wage may be violated. Another example of potential off-the-clock violations is when an employer requires employees to attend work-related meetings outside of normal business hours but does not pay for the time spent attending those meetings.
  • Unpaid Meal Periods: Many employers deduct 30-minutes or more from compensable work hours for a meal period during the course of the workday. The FLSA typically requires that an employee be free from work long enough to eat a meal in order for an employer to deduct that time. In addition, Wisconsin law requires that employees be paid for meal periods unless: 1) the employee is free from work for at least 30 consecutive minutes, and 2) the employee is allowed to leave the employer’s premises for the meal period. Where an employer deducts for meal periods of less than 30 minutes or does not allow employees to leave the premises for meal periods, FLSA and Wisconsin minimum wage violations may occur.
  • Deductions from Pay: While deductions from an employee’s pay may be permitted under limited circumstances, deductions are typically not allowed to bring an employee’s pay below the FLSA minimum wage or Wisconsin minimum wage. Common deductions that may cause minimum wage violations include deductions for cash register shortages, broke equipment, lost materials, restaurant walk-outs, and uniforms.
  • Failing to Reimburse Work-Related Expenses: The minimum wage must be paid free and clear of any expenses incurred by an employee on their employer’s behalf. Where an employee has expenses that it necessarily incurred in performing their work for the employer, it is possible that those expenses bring the employee’s pay below the mandated minimum wages rates under the FLSA and Wisconsin law. A common example of this violation occurs where a delivery driver uses his or her personal vehicle while delivering for an employer but the employer does not reimburse the employee’s mileage incurred or does not sufficiently reimburse the employee for mileage incurred.
  • Improperly Classifying Employees as Independent Contractors: Many employees are treated as independent contractors by their employers in order to avoid the legal protections provided to employees. However, whether an individual is an employee depends on the facts of that individual’s work relationship. Signing an agreement that stating that someone is an independent contractor does not necessarily mean that the individual is not entitled to the FLSA minimum wage or Wisconsin minimum wage for all hours worked.
  • Improper Tip Pooling: Tipped employees may be required to participate in valid tip pools. Tip pools are arrangements where tipped employees contribute a portion of their tips to a common fund that is then redistributed to other employees in the tip pool. However, when certain employees – including managers, supervisors, cooks, or other employees who do not have customer contact – are included in a tip pool, it may become an invalid tip pool and the employer may be required to pay the entire minimum wage. 
  • Failure to Provide Tip Credit Notice: Employees that regularly and customarily receive tips may be paid an hourly rate that is less than $7.25 per hour under the FLSA and Wisconsin law. In order to pay a sub-minimum wage rate, employers claim a portion of the employee’s tips as wages to make up the full minimum wage amount. However, employers are not allowed claim a tip credit unless they have provided proper notice of the tip credit they claim. 

Tipped Employees are the Most Vulnerable to FLSA & Wisconsin Law Minimum Wage Violations

Tipped employees – including servers and delivery drivers – are often most likely to experience minimum wage violations under the FLSA and Wisconsin law. That is because both the FLSA and Wisconsin law allow employers to pay tipped employees an hourly rate that is less than the minimum wage and to claim a portion of their tips as wages. However, there are specific requirements that an employer must follow to do so and, if they fail to meet those requirements, even tipped employees must be paid the full minimum wage. 

Employees cannot be paid less than $2.33 per hour under Wisconsin law and $2.13 per hour under the FLSA by their employers. Employers cannot pay their tipped employees in tips alone. Outside of a valid tip pool, employers cannot keep or otherwise use their employee’s tips. Improper notice of the tip credit can prevent the employer from claiming a tip credit. Employers cannot claim tips in excess of the tip credit to meet their minimum wage obligations.

Our Wisconsin Minimum Wage Attorneys Will Fight for your Right to Minimum Wages

The experienced Wisconsin minimum wage attorneys at Hawks Quindel have assisted thousands of employees in recovering their wages. If you suspect that your minimum wage rights have been violated, our wage and hour team will provide you with a free case evaluation to answer your questions and evaluate your potential claims.

Please contact Hawks Quindel if you would like to discuss your wage rights under federal FLSA or Wisconsin wage and hour laws. Please call a Madison wage attorney directly at (608) 257-0040 or a Milwaukee wage attorney at (414) 271-8650, or email us via our Contact Page.

Attorneys Experienced with Prosecuting Minimum Wage Violations

Both the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and Wisconsin law require employers to pay their employees a minimum wage of at least $7.25 per hour. In addition, the FLSA and Wisconsin law require that employers pay minimum wage for all hours worked. While this seems simple to accomplish, FLSA and Wisconsin law minimum wage violations can happen in a variety of ways, including:

  • Off-the-Clock Work: When an employee is suffered or permitted to work hours that are not recorded and paid for, that employee’s right to the FLSA and Wisconsin minimum wage may be violated. For example, an employee may be told to punch out at the end of his or her scheduled shift but permitted to work after he or she punches out. If the additional work occurring after the employee punches out is not paid, the employee’s right to the minimum wage may be violated. Another example of potential off-the-clock violations is when an employer requires employees to attend work-related meetings outside of normal business hours but does not pay for the time spent attending those meetings.
  • Unpaid Meal Periods: Many employers deduct 30-minutes or more from compensable work hours for a meal period during the course of the workday. The FLSA typically requires that an employee be free from work long enough to eat a meal in order for an employer to deduct that time. In addition, Wisconsin law requires that employees be paid for meal periods unless: 1) the employee is free from work for at least 30 consecutive minutes, and 2) the employee is allowed to leave the employer’s premises for the meal period. Where an employer deducts for meal periods of less than 30 minutes or does not allow employees to leave the premises for meal periods, FLSA and Wisconsin minimum wage violations may occur.
  • Deductions from Pay: While deductions from an employee’s pay may be permitted under limited circumstances, deductions are typically not allowed to bring an employee’s pay below the FLSA minimum wage or Wisconsin minimum wage. Common deductions that may cause minimum wage violations include deductions for cash register shortages, broke equipment, lost materials, restaurant walk-outs, and uniforms.
  • Failing to Reimburse Work-Related Expenses: The minimum wage must be paid free and clear of any expenses incurred by an employee on their employer’s behalf. Where an employee has expenses that it necessarily incurred in performing their work for the employer, it is possible that those expenses bring the employee’s pay below the mandated minimum wages rates under the FLSA and Wisconsin law. A common example of this violation occurs where a delivery driver uses his or her personal vehicle while delivering for an employer but the employer does not reimburse the employee’s mileage incurred or does not sufficiently reimburse the employee for mileage incurred.
  • Improperly Classifying Employees as Independent Contractors: Many employees are treated as independent contractors by their employers in order to avoid the legal protections provided to employees. However, whether an individual is an employee depends on the facts of that individual’s work relationship. Signing an agreement that stating that someone is an independent contractor does not necessarily mean that the individual is not entitled to the FLSA minimum wage or Wisconsin minimum wage for all hours worked.
  • Improper Tip Pooling: Tipped employees may be required to participate in valid tip pools. Tip pools are arrangements where tipped employees contribute a portion of their tips to a common fund that is then redistributed to other employees in the tip pool. However, when certain employees – including managers, supervisors, cooks, or other employees who do not have customer contact – are included in a tip pool, it may become an invalid tip pool and the employer may be required to pay the entire minimum wage. 
  • Failure to Provide Tip Credit Notice: Employees that regularly and customarily receive tips may be paid an hourly rate that is less than $7.25 per hour under the FLSA and Wisconsin law. In order to pay a sub-minimum wage rate, employers claim a portion of the employee’s tips as wages to make up the full minimum wage amount. However, employers are not allowed claim a tip credit unless they have provided proper notice of the tip credit they claim. 

Tipped Employees are the Most Vulnerable to FLSA & Wisconsin Law Minimum Wage Violations

Tipped employees – including servers and delivery drivers – are often most likely to experience minimum wage violations under the FLSA and Wisconsin law. That is because both the FLSA and Wisconsin law allow employers to pay tipped employees an hourly rate that is less than the minimum wage and to claim a portion of their tips as wages. However, there are specific requirements that an employer must follow to do so and, if they fail to meet those requirements, even tipped employees must be paid the full minimum wage. 

Employees cannot be paid less than $2.33 per hour under Wisconsin law and $2.13 per hour under the FLSA by their employers. Employers cannot pay their tipped employees in tips alone. Outside of a valid tip pool, employers cannot keep or otherwise use their employee’s tips. Improper notice of the tip credit can prevent the employer from claiming a tip credit. Employers cannot claim tips in excess of the tip credit to meet their minimum wage obligations.

Our Wisconsin Minimum Wage Attorneys Will Fight for your Right to Minimum Wages

The experienced Wisconsin minimum wage attorneys at Hawks Quindel have assisted thousands of employees in recovering their wages. If you suspect that your minimum wage rights have been violated, our wage and hour team will provide you with a free case evaluation to answer your questions and evaluate your potential claims.

Please contact Hawks Quindel if you would like to discuss your wage rights under federal FLSA or Wisconsin wage and hour laws. Please call a Madison wage attorney directly at (608) 257-0040 or a Milwaukee wage attorney at (414) 271-8650, or email us via our Contact Page.

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