Charleston Wage & Hour Claims Attorney
Unpaid Wages, Overtime Disputes & More
Employers have broad discretion over the terms and conditions of employment. However, there are some limits to this discretion; employers must adhere to all state and federal laws protecting the rights of employees, including those governing break periods and overtime pay. When employers don’t provide overtime compensation as mandated by law, or when they violate employment hour laws, employees can bring wage and hour claims and seek financial restitution.
At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we provide skilled legal representation to clients navigating an array of complex employment law matters, including wage and hour disputes. For more than 20 years, we have helped workers throughout West Virginia fight for their rights and stand up to employers who would seek to violate the law. Our award-winning attorneys have been recognized by numerous news outlets, publications, and legal organizations for their efforts, as well as their commitment to the highest level of ethics and client care.
Getting Clear on West Virginia’s Wage & Hour Laws
The state of West Virginia has several laws regarding employee wages and hours. First, all employees must be paid the state’s minimum wage or more; no employee can be paid less than the current minimum wage of $8.75 an hour, unless the employee receives tips (or meets other specific criteria for exemption). The minimum wage for tipped employees in West Virginia as of 2021 is $2.62 an hour. If the tipped employee does not earn the standard minimum wage after tips, their employer is responsible for making up the difference.
Additionally, West Virginia employers must provide non-exempt employees with overtime pay for all hours worked beyond 40 hours in a single workweek. Overtime must be paid at a rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular pay.
When it comes to meal breaks and rest periods, employers must provide at least one 20-minute meal break to employees who are scheduled to work six hours or more in a single shift. The time of this meal break can be determined by the employer but must be “reasonable.” Employers are not required to provide employees with other breaks, but if they do, they must pay employees for during those break periods if they are less than 20 minutes long.
Understanding Overtime Pay in West Virginia
The laws governing overtime compensation ensure that employees are not forced to work extensive hours without being paid fair wages. Although some employees are not entitled to overtime pay, many more are cheated out of wages that they are legally entitled to receive through misclassification, deceptive time-keeping practices, or other improper conduct.
Note that overtime pay is not required for employees who work more than 8 hours in a day; overtime pay is only mandatory when an employee works beyond 40 hours in a single workweek. The rate of overtime pay for non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek is 1.5 times (“time and a half”) the regular rate of pay.
Not all employees are eligible for overtime pay in West Virginia. You may be exempt if you meet the following requirements:
- You are exempt due to the type of job you have or the absence of an employer-employee relationship (e.g., charitable work, religious work, etc.)
- You are a salaried employee who has a minimum guaranteed salary, makes more than $23,600 per year, and has some type of managerial duties
- You are considered “outside sales personnel”
- You are an agricultural worker
- You are over the age of 62 and receive Social Security
- You are an employee of the federal government
- You work for an organization with fewer than six employees or that has 80% of its workforce covered by federal law
Note that this is not an exhaustive list. There are numerous other exemptions to overtime requirements in West Virginia. However, in most cases, standard employees are entitled to time-and-a-half pay for all hours worked beyond 40 hours in a single workweek.
If you believe your employer failed to pay you overtime to which you were entitled, you could have grounds for legal action. It may be possible to bring a claim or lawsuit against your employer and seek fair compensation, including backpay and reimbursement for other damages.
How Our Team Can Help
Regardless of the particular nature of your wage and hour claim, we at Warner Law Offices, PLLC are ready to effectively represent you. As seasoned Charleston hour and wage lawyers, we provide skilled representation on behalf of our clients, both at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. We strive to be the aggressive advocates our clients need and are armed with the skill, resources, and experience required to produce results.
Whether your employer failed to pay your rightful overtime or minimum wages, violated your right to regular meal breaks, or otherwise acted unfairly and/or unlawfully, turn to our team for the legal help you need. We provide free initial consultations and contingency fees, meaning you don’t owe anything unless/until we recover compensation for you.