All employees in Chicago have a right to be compensated fairly, however, wage violations are common in many industries. Given that employers have firm control over wages, employees are at a disadvantage, and pursuing a wage and hour claim is challenging.
At Vaziri Law LLC, we leverage our skills and experience to help workers level the playing field and hold employers accountable for wage violations. Our experienced wage and hour attorney has a track record of achieving positive outcomes through negotiation, arbitration, and litigation.
Though many workers are reluctant to complain about wages, your employer cannot retaliate against you for pursuing a wage and hour claim. Trust our legal team to protect your rights and help you navigate the legal process.
We have extensive experience resolving wage and hour claims involving unpaid minimum wages, unpaid overtime, employee misclassification, and other wage violations. Well-versed in the applicable local, state, and federal laws, we will work to help you recover the wages you are owed and the damages you deserve.
At Vaziri Law LLC, we represent individual employees at all levels in wage disputes across multiple industries. We also have the resources to represent groups of employees who have suffered similar harm due to wage violations through a class-action lawsuit. Contact our Chicago office today so we can start working on your wage and hour claim.
What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that establishes standards for minimum wage and overtime pay; however, employers in Chicago must adhere to local and state minimum wage requirements too.
On January 1, 2021, the minimum wage for the state of Illinois was raised to $11 per hour and is scheduled to be increased to $15 per hour by 2025. However, employees who work in Chicago and other municipalities in Cook County are entitled to a higher minimum wage. Chicago’s minimum wage is $14.00 per hour (a lower rate applies to certain small businesses); Cook County’s minimum wage is $13.00 per hour. These higher minimum wage rates became effective on July 1, 2021.
Moreover, nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of time and one-half for time worked over 40 hours per week. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, however, the FLSA exempts certain employees from these overtime requirements, including those who:
- Earn not less than $684 per week
- Are paid a salary rather than on an hourly basis
- Work for exempt employers (e.g. restaurants, hotels, nonprofits)
- Perform administrative, professional, management, or other exempt duties
Despite these legal requirements, wage disputes often arise when employers fail to pay the minimum wage, misclassify employees, or miscalculate rates of pay. Trust Vaziri Law LLC to protect your rights and help you recover all the compensation you have earned.
Wage and Hour Claims Our Chicago Law Firm Handles
At Vaziri Law LLC, we prosecute all types of wage and hour issues, including:
- Off-the-clock wage violations — Employees who work hourly are often forced to work off-the-clock, skip rest and meal breaks, or work overtime without being compensated for all their time.
- Employee misclassifications — Employers often misclassify non-exempt employees as exempt to avoid paying overtime or misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying benefits.
- Meal and rest breaks –Meal breaks of at least 20 minutes are mandated for employees who work for 7½ continuous hours and must be provided after they have worked a maximum of 5 hours.
- Withholding bonuses or commissions — Employers often attempt to withhold bonuses and commissions, particularly when employees leave the business.
- Illegal wage deductions — Employers may not take unauthorized deductions from employees’ pay, such as the cost of a uniform, accidental breakage, or cash and property shortages.
- Tipped-employee wage violations –– The FLSA and Illinois Minimum Wage Law allow employers to use a tip credit to meet their minimum wage obligations to tipped employees. For the state of Illinois, the tipped wage direct rate is $6.60 per hour (as of January 1, 2021). For Chicago, however, the tipped minimum wage is $8.40 per hour for employers with 4 to four to 20 workers or $9 for employers with 21 or more workers (as of July 1, 2021). If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages do not equal the minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. Although tip pooling is permitted, back-of-house workers (e.g. chefs, cooks, dishwashers) cannot participate, and employers and supervisors are not permitted to retain any employee tips.
Regardless of the wage violation, it takes a skilled employment lawyer to protect your rights and help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve.
Contact Vaziri Law LLC for Help With Your Chicago Wage and Hour Claim
If you are involved in a wage and hour dispute with your employer, don’t go it alone. Let our experienced wage and hour attorney handle your claim and help you recover the wages you deserve.
Because wage and hour issues often involve groups of employees, it may be possible to pursue a class-action lawsuit. By combining the claims of many individuals into a single action, each member of the class has a chance to achieve a favorable outcome.
At Vaziri Law LLC, we have a proven history of successfully handling wage and hour claims. We also work with business clients to resolve wage and hour disputes and help them adhere to applicable wage and hour laws. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation.