The Noble Law offers consultations and legal advice for a variety of wage and compensation disputes, including pay, overtime, incentives, and leave. When you choose to partner with our employment law firm, we will treat you as part of a team. Open communication is key to what we do, and our experienced attorneys will be supporting you every step of the way. When it comes to workplace disputes, it can be incredibly hard to speak out against your employer. Here at The Noble Law, our employment lawyers will work to understand your situation and help inform you of your legal options. Schedule a consultation with a wage disputes lawyer in South Carolina or North Carolina today.
Speak With a Wage and Compensation Disputes Lawyer
Part of our mission here at The Noble Law is educating our communities in North Carolina and South Carolina about employment law and workers’ rights. If your employer has denied you the pay, overtime, or leave that you are entitled to, or has unfairly penalized you because you took advantage of these or other employee rights, we want you to know that you have the law behind you. You do not have to accept unjust treatment in the workplace, and The Noble Law is here to help you fight back and stand up for your rights. If you have experienced wage theft, Equal Pay Act violations, 1099 contractor misclassification, violations of employment contracts, or Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference or retaliation, please reach out to a wage and compensation disputes attorney at our firm. Our compassionate, experienced lawyers can review your situation, educate you as to your rights under state and federal employment laws, and give you all the information you need to decide which next steps are right for you.
Learn more below about some common ways that employee rights are violated in South and North Carolina.
Employees are entitled to be properly compensated for every hour they work, and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides remedies for employees who have unpaid wages from their employers. Under the FLSA, employees are classified as either “exempt” or “non-exempt” and these classifications affect the way you are paid. If you are an exempt employee, your employer can require you to work over 40 hours in a week without providing you with overtime pay. However, if you are classified as non-exempt, your employer must pay you at an overtime rate of 1.5 times your hourly wage for every hour worked over 40 hours in a week.
If your employer is refusing to pay you overtime or is underpaying you, that is considered wage theft, and you deserve to be paid in full. FLSA allows employees to receive back wages for up to two years, and the law also enforces penalties on employers who improperly classify their employees as “exempt” to avoid paying overtime pay. If you believe this is happening to you, our employment lawyers can help.
Typically, there are five categories of exempt duties — executive, professional, administrative, computer professional, and commissioner sales. Additionally, all employees who earn less than $23,600 per year are automatically classified as non-exempt. If you believe you have been misclassified, you may be entitled to retroactive overtime pay.
There are other situations where you may be a victim of wage theft, and our employment lawyers can help you understand what your legal options are. Laws around meal and rest breaks, vacation and paid time off, and docking pay can vary from state to state. Our employment law firm has offices in both South Carolina and North Carolina, and our wage dispute attorneys are ready to offer you legal advice and representation.
Equal Pay Act Violations
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work, and if they violate this law, they may be sued for workplace discrimination. Employees have the right to work in a workplace free of compensation discrimination. These rights and protections are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EPA amended the Fair Labor Standards Act and applies specifically to gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Employers may not pay women and men differently who perform the same function in similar working conditions. If you are unsure of what constitutes gender-based discrimination, our employment lawyers can help.
Pay differentials are only permitted when there is some basis other than gender that justifies the pay scale. Factors other than gender can include:
- Skill – measured by factors such as experience, ability, education, and training required to do the job. These are the skills required for the job, not the skills that the employee may possess.
- Effort – the amount of mental or physical exertion needed to perform the job
- Responsibility – the degree of accountability required for the job
- Working Conditions – can include physical surroundings and hazards
- Establishment – the EPA applies only to jobs within an establishment, which is a distinct physical place of business
The burden is on the employer to prove that these differences apply to the case, not on you as the employee. Minor differences in job duties or a difference in a job title do not render work unequal, and the job does not have to be identical, just “substantially equal” in overall job content.
If you believe that your employer has committed an Equal Pay Act violation, The Noble Law can help. Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced wage and compensation disputes lawyers at our offices in North Carolina or South Carolina today.
1099 Contractor Misclassifications
Being classified as an independent contractor instead of an employee can be very costly. You will need to pay taxes for Social Security and Medicare out of your own pocket, rather than having your employer pay half of these taxes. Independent contractors are also ineligible for unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, independent contractors have none of the workplace rights that employees have, such as a right to minimum wage, overtime pay, sick pay, and rest breaks. They are also ineligible for employer provided health care coverage.
Employers benefit from hiring independent contractors because they do not have to pay any of the taxes they are required to pay for employees. As such, they may misclassify workers as independent contractors to save money. Workers can find themselves trapped in a “gig economy” that benefits employers and deprives workers of compensation, benefits, and rights. If you believe that you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, our employment lawyers can help.
The Noble Law has successfully advocated for workers who were misclassified, and asserted claims for:
- Failure to provide employee benefits
- Failure to pay minimum wage or overtime pay
- Reimbursement of tax money paid by misclassified workers
- Injunctive relief to obtain proper classification from employer
Our firm has offices in both South Carolina and North Carolina, and our attorneys have a deep understanding of employment law in both states. We help contractors understand their legal options and choose the best litigation strategy to meet their needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation over a 1099 contractor misclassification.
Family and Medical Leave Act Violations
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a labor law that requires employers to provide employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. When an employee takes FMLA leave, the employer must continue group health insurance coverage, under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Employees are entitled to up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave per year. You are eligible for FMLA leave for any of the following conditions:
- Birth of a child or placement of a foster child or adopted child
- Caring for an immediate family member with a serious health condition
- The employee’s own serious health condition
- A “qualifying exigency” related to a family member in the military
To be eligible to take leave under FMLA, an employee must work for a covered employer, have worked 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to starting leave, work at a location where the employer has 50 or more employees, and worked for the employer for 12 months.
FMLA law protects employees and helps them to balance their work, health, and family responsibilities. However, not all employers understand the law, and some willfully deny employees coverage. For example, the following actions by an employer all violate the law: failure to recognize serious health conditions or disciplining an employee for their FMLA-qualified absences. Employers also run afoul of the law if they fail to continue health insurance or pressure employees who are on leave to return to work sooner than the employee wants. Some employers blatantly violate the FMLA by firing an employee for taking FMLA leave.
Illegal and unethical workplace behaviors, such as Family and Medical Leave Act violations, can and should be addressed. If you believe this has happened to you, contact an employment attorney at The Noble Law. You may be able to be reinstated to your position or be paid the wages and benefits lost because of an FMLA violation. Our employment law firm has offices in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Schedule a consultation with an attorney today.
Assert your rights
Before you can file an age discrimination lawsuit, you need to comply with any pre-suit requirements. Depending on your location, and whether you file under state or federal law, you may need to file a charge with the EEOC or a state administrative agency.
The deadlines and procedures for filing a charge or a discrimination lawsuit vary by situation. Guessing the wrong deadline or place for filing can delay your claim or even disqualify your claim. To increase your likelihood of success, choose an experienced employment discrimination lawyer who is familiar with the process.
A Wage Disputes Lawyer at The Noble Law Is Ready to Help
If you’re interested in learning more about employment law regarding pay, overtime, and leave, or other issues in employment law, explore our resources below:
Do you believe that your employer is not paying you the wages you deserve or is treating you differently than other employees? If so, please fill out the simple online contact forms on our site or call The Noble Law to consult with one of our wage disputes lawyers about your right to recover the wages and benefits you are entitled to receive. We represent employees in wage dispute lawsuits in South Carolina and North Carolina.
When you have nowhere else to turn, remember: We listen. We hear you. We understand.
Speak with an age discrimination lawyer today
If you have been the victim of age-based discrimination on the job or as an applicant, you have the right to seek redress. You may be eligible for compensation, reinstatement, and other damages. The employment lawyers at The Noble Law have proved discrimination claims on behalf of clients in South Carolina and North Carolina. If you have questions about whether the treatment you have faced constitutes age discrimination, call us to schedule a free case review. We listen. We hear you. We understand.
The Noble Law – Employment Attorneys
You have the right to a safe workplace free of discrimination, including pregnancy discrimination. If you are being discriminated against or harassed in your workplace, an employment attorney at The Noble Law may be able to help. We provide clients with legal counsel and representation in North Carolina and South Carolina. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced employment law attorneys.