The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay and other employment standards for employees in the United States. If you’re a Rhode Island worker and you believe that your employer has violated your rights under the FLSA, you may be able to file a wage claim to recover unpaid wages or other damages.
Determining if you are covered by the FLSA
The FLSA covers most employees in the United States. To determine if you have FLSA coverage, you should determine if your employer is engaged in interstate commerce. This includes selling products or services across state lines, using the internet to sell goods or services or transporting goods or materials across state lines.
However, even if your employer doesn’t actively pursue interstate commerce, you may still be covered by the FLSA if your job involves certain activities such as handling goods produced for interstate commerce.
Gathering evidence may include collecting pay stubs, timesheets, emails and other documentation that shows how many hours you worked and how much you were paid. This evidence should show how your employer violated employment law at your expense.
Contact the Wage and Hour Division
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforces the FLSA. You can contact the WHD’s by phone or visit a local WHD office to discuss your wage claim. The agency will ask you for information about your employer and the alleged violations.
Cooperate with the WHD investigation
After you file your wage claim, the WHD will investigate your complaint. This may involve contacting your employer, reviewing payroll records, and interviewing witnesses. You should cooperate with the WHD’s investigation by providing any additional information or evidence they request.
Receive the WHD’s determination
After completing its investigation, the WHD will issue a determination regarding your claim. If the WHD finds that your employer violated the FLSA, they may order them to pay back wages, liquidated damages and other penalties. If the WHD finds that your employer did not violate the FLSA, you may still have the option to file a lawsuit in court.
Protect your rights as an employee
If you believe your employer has violated your rights under the FLSA, filing a wage claim can help you recover unpaid wages and other damages. Following a few simple steps and working with the WHD can increase your chances of success and hold irresponsible employers accountable.