Buying gifts during the Holiday season only serves as a reminder of just how tight Missouri family budgets are this year – cash-strapped families struggle to pay bills in this waning economy. During this supposedly festive time, employers only add insult to injury for some families when they fail to pay their workers what they have earned – for example, unpaid overtime wages.
FLSA & Missouri Minimum Wage Law
A recent Missouri lawsuit filed by Kansas City based Carter Law Offices illustrates the difficulties workers may encounter when dealing with under-compensating employers. According to the complaint (complaint.pdf) filed in the Western District of Missouri, a cable television satellite installation company grossly under-paid the Missouri workers that actually completed the installations.
As alleged in the complaint, one employee was initially told upon employment that he would be paid $9.00 per hour or by number of installations he performed, whichever was greater. This particular employee worked long hours – beginning his day at 6:00 am, and working on average 60-72 hours per week – but he alleges he was not compensated as required under the law.
Ultimately, the worker alleges that he was not paid for all the hours he worked and that he was only paid on a “per-task” basis – which resulted in wages far lower than if he had been paid the $9.00 per hour rate initially promised. Because the worker was paid on a per-task basis as opposed to an hourly rate, he alleges that his employer not only failed to meet the minimum wage requirements of the Missouri Minimum Wage Law, but also that of the Fair Labor Standards Act – in addition to unpaid overtime under the FLSA.
While attempting the maximize profits, companies may make every effort to minimize costs – namely, wages to employees. Thus, in this troubled economy workers need to be especially vigilant in protecting their rights under the law.