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Wage & Hour Claims FAQ

Can my lunch period be deducted?

Generally, lunch time of a half hour or more, provided you are free to leave the work site and are not subject to call to work, is deductible. However, if you stay on the premises, are subject to call during your lunch break or are frequently interrupted by work related activities, your lunch period may be considered work and you may be entitled to be paid.

If I take work home, can I be paid for that work?

If you perform work at home, either with or without your company’s specific authorization, you may be entitled to pay. Examples of working at home are doing paperwork, answering emails, returning calls, or other work for your job. If your employer knew or should have known that you worked at home, you may be entitled to be paid.

Can my company deduct break time from my pay?

Generally, breaks that are twenty minutes or less are considered work time and you should not be deducted.

Should I be paid if I am “on call?”

Usually, stand by or on call time is payable only in situations where the company imposes restrictions on your activities, you have a very short report-to-work time, or you are frequently called to work.

What deductions can my employer make from my pay?

Depending on the state you are in, your employer may not be able to deduct things such as training costs, uniforms, tools, retirement contributions, or wage garnishments. Under the FLSA, deductions cannot result in your pay falling below minimum wage.

Can my employer deduct tips from my pay?

In some circumstances, you are entitled to receive all of the tips left by a customer. If your employer is deducting part of your tips, you may be entitled to pay.

What are my rights and remedies?

If you are not paid overtime or minimum wages as required by the law, you may recover:

  1. Back pay for all amounts owed but not paid;
  2. Liquidated or double damages;
  3. In some cases, your legal costs and attorney fees;
  4. You can bring a lawsuit for yourself and a “collective action” for other workers;
  5. Your lawsuit must generally be filed within two years and, in some cases, three years.

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