Wage and Hour Law
The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.
If your employer is subject to the FLSA and you feel they are violating your rights, you might have a legal claim to investigate.
We have investigated and pursued FLSA claims for several years. Often these cases involve many co-employees as the employer’s pay policies typically affect most others in a similar, non-management positions.
The first thing to note about wage and hour regulations in Alabama is that this state does not establish some major areas of this area of law. Therefore, many federal laws override this void and apply in Alabama. These are mainly minimum wage and overtime laws. Alabama has not established either a minimum wage rate or any laws governing the payment of overtime. Thus, the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 and federal overtime laws apply. Alabama law does establish strict rules for employers employing minors, allowing for jury duty leave time, and voting leave time. For example, Alabama employers are required to allow for at least a 30 minute meal/rest period to employees under the age of 16 that are scheduled to work 5 or more hours. Ala. Code § 25-8-38 (1975). However, once an employee is above the age of 16, Alabama laws defer to federal rules to apply regarding breaks and meal times. Alabama laws do require employees to provide for paid or unpaid leave during certain circumstances. Alabama specifically requires employers to grant employees at least one hour of unpaid leave to vote in any election. Ala. Code § 17-1-5. Also, employers are required to provide paid leave to employees that will serve jury duty. Ala. Code § 12-16-8 (1975).
When Alabama law and federal law are silent on an issue between an employer and employee then the employee contract is allowed to be the binding agreement on these issues. Areas of wage and hour law such as sick leave, vacation leave, and severance pay are all left up to the contract between the employee and the employer. Some aspects of these laws, such as Alabama requiring employers to pay accrued vacation days upon separation from employment, are required under Alabama law; however, only once the employment contract provides for such compensation are those laws triggered.
This article is meant to be an overview of wage and hour laws, and if you have a more specific question, please contact the attorneys at the Nomberg Law Firm (205) 930-6900.