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 pay, 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 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 pay 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 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 pay is $14.00 per hour (a lower rate applies to certain small businesses); Cook County’s minimum 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 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 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 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 pay 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 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 pay you deserve.
Because these 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 these types of claims. We also work with business clients to resolve disputes and help them adhere to applicable laws. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation.
Vaziri Law helps residents of Chicago with Wage and Hour claims including those who live in Cook County, Dupage County, Lake County, McHenry County, and Will County.