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Are You Being Paid The Right Wage?

Posted by Michael E. Lyons | Nov 06, 2019 | 0 Comments

You work hard and it is important to make sure that you are properly paid. For certain people, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) mandates a federal minimum wage. It also imposes a duty on employers to pay employees overtime wages of one and a half times the regular hourly rate for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours per week. In addition, states, cities, and counties may impose higher minimum wages requirements. The following is a primer for you to understand if you are getting the right wages.

FLSA Coverage

Not all U.S. workers are covered by the FLSA. Those who are covered are frequently labeled as nonexempt. Nonexempt workers are usually those employees that are paid hourly, including tipped employees. However, even some workers that receive salaries are covered by the FLSA. Some examples of nonexempt workers include waiters and waitresses, custodians, and factory workers.

If you are unsure about whether you are covered by the FLSA, it is important to contact an attorney familiar with employment law and all aspects of business law. The language of the FLSA is specific and may cover you—make sure you're getting your money's worth for your hours.

Minimum Wage Requirements in the States

Employers that have employees who are covered by the FLSA (with the exception of tipped employees) must pay their employees the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. However, those employers also need to comply with the minimum wage requirements in their respective states, if the state's laws apply. States usually have their own labor laws including wage requirements. In addition, some cities and counties, such as Prince George's and Montgomery counties in Maryland, have their own wage requirements—and those also need to be adhered to, if applicable.

Some states' minimum wage requirements match the federal minimum wage, while others are higher. For example, the current minimum wage in the District of Columbia is $14.00 per hour. It is set to increase to $15.00 per hour in 2020. In Maryland, the minimum wage is $10.10 per hour and is set to increase as well. On the other hand, Virginia's minimum wage is equal to the federal minimum wage.


These minimum wage requirements are important for overtime calculation. Although this may vary by state or employment industry, overtime is usually considered to be each hour that is worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Thus, for each hour that a nonexempt employee works in excess of 40 hours, he or she must be paid one and a half times his or her regular hourly rate. Thus, an employee whose hourly rate is $10.00 per hour needs to be paid $15.00 per hour for each hour he works in excess of 40 hours per week.

Not only do the jurisdictional boundaries play a role on minimum wage, but even the industry may play a role as well. With all of this in mind, it is important to contact an attorney that is familiar with these laws to determine whether you are being paid correctly. Call Patriots Law Group for help today!

DISCLAIMER:  The information above is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice for any particular situation.  No attorney-client relationship is intended or created by this information and may not be relied upon based on the above-statements.  Each individual situation is different and therefore a consultation is necessary before any advice can be relied upon as appropriate and accurate for your situation. Please call Patriots Law Group at 301-952-9000 to set up a consultation if you wish to obtain specific legal advice concerning your situation.

About the Author

Michael E. Lyons

“As a veteran, I bring my core values of service, integrity, and excellence to every client, every case, every time.” Background: Michael E. Lyons (“Mike”) handles cases in Maryland and Washington D.C. fr...


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