In a recent report by Business Insider, the rates of corporate profits and wage rates dating back to the 1950’s were analyzed. The results they found are unfortunate for workers. Wages have declined over time when compared to company profits. Researchers analyzing economies that are in recovery (our economy is recovering from the 2007 recession), have found that as time has moved forward since 1950, the top 10% of earners are getting much a larger share of profits than the bottom 90 percent.
Furthermore, wage payments are at an all-time low when comparing them to Gross Domestic Income. This imbalance affects the entire economy, and workers now are fighting hard to increase wages. With employers paying historically low wage levels, knowing if you are being treated legally and fairly by your employer is more important than ever.
What Are My Wage Rights as an Employee?
- Overtime: Any employee that is classified as non-exempt, and makes less than the federal income threshold for overtime, is legally eligible for overtime. Many employers misclassify their employees into exempt roles such as supervisors, when they are non-exempt. The ability to identify if you have been misclassified can be made much easier with the help of an employment attorney.
- State minimum wage: If your state has a minimum wage set higher than the federal minimum, like the $10.50 minimum wage in California, you must get paid the higher of the two.
- Right to refuse deductions: Maintenance fees that show up on your check, like charges for tools or other equipment necessary for the job you’re performing are not things that employees legally need to pay for.
Things can get tricky when employees suspect they are losing out on wages. Employers often miscategorize employees into exempt roles or as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime and minimum wage. Having a Los Angeles wage attorney can help figure out if what your employer is doing is right.