Labor and Wage Lawyers

We work hard to make sure that honest, hard-working people are treated with respect and get the pay they deserve. When your employer cheats you out of wages that you have rightfully earned or otherwise treats you unfairly, Burger Law is the law firm you want on your side.

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Labor and Wage Law Lawyers St. Louis and Missouri

Labor and Wage Law Lawyers St. Louis and Missouri. Burger Law is a personal injury law firm that specializes in wage and hour claims. If a current or former employee refuses to give the wages you worked hard for and rightfully deserve, call Burger Law now at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation.

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In Missouri, wage laws are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Missouri Wage and Hour laws. These Fair Labor Standards Act laws cover minimum wage, overtime pay, classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt and a number of other key issues. Burger Law's wage and hour lawyers understand that employees are entitled to compensation for the hours they have worked and should be paid at least twice a month, with some exceptions. The way an employee is paid will depend on whether he/she is classified as exempt (salaried and therefore not entitled to overtime pay) or non-exempt (hourly and therefore entitled to overtime pay for time worked more than 40 hours in a week). If you believe that you are not being paid fairly, contact the wage and hour attorneys at Burger Law to get started on your free case evaluation.

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Labor and Wage Law

Missouri Labor and Wage Law | St. Louis Labor and Wage Law Lawyer

A St. Louis workers' wage rights are largely protected by two laws: minimum wage and overtime pay:

  1. Minimum Wage — While it goes up every year, and in 2022 the minimum wage in Missouri is $11.15 an hour. If you are a tipped employee, your employer must pay you $5.575 an hour, plus any amount necessary to bring your total compensation to a minimum of $11.15 an hour. Some exceptions do apply, such as if you are an agricultural worker paid on a piece-rate basis, according to Missouri Revised Statute §290.507. Nor does the minimum wage supersede laws that may lead to higher wages for certain employees, or rights protected by a collective bargaining agreement. Missouri Revised Statute §290.502 stipulates that the minimum wage should be increased or decreased each year based on the cost of living.
  2. Overtime pay — According to Missouri Revised Statute §290.505, any employee who works more than 40 hours in any given week must be paid for the additional hours at a rate of one and half times their hourly rate. So, if you're hourly pay is $20, your employee must pay you at least $30 for any hours worked after the 40-hour limit was reached. Exceptions to the overtime law include:
    • Executive and other white-collar employees
    • Seasonal day camp employees
    • Domestic workers
    • Handicapped workers in a sheltered workshop
    • Commissioned salespeople
    • Some retail and service workers

It is important to note, a St. Louis employer is not violating overtime laws if they require you to work overtime, as long as you are paid what you deserve under the law.

Does My Employer Have to Give Me Rest and Meal Breaks

Does My Employer Have to Give Me Rest and Meal Breaks? | St. Louis Labor and Wage Law Lawyer

Missouri law does not require an employer to offer rest breaks, meal breaks or personal time off. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires short breaks of up to 20 minutes to be paid.

Employers can elect not to pay you for a meal break, however you do have to be compensated for time working while you are eating. For example, if you are a secretary who needs to monitor the phones while you are eating, you must be paid for that.

What Work Needs to Be Compensated?

What Work Needs to Be Compensated? | St. Louis Labor and Wage Law Lawyer

The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the "workday" as "the period between the time on any particular day when such employee commences his/her "principal activity" and the time on that day at which he/she ceases such principal activity or activities." That means the work you need to be paid for may be longer than your scheduled shift, depending on with pre- and post-shift activities count as your "principal activity."

The act also defines the term "employ" as "suffering or permitting to work," meaning work does not have to be specifically requested in order for it to be compensable. If you stay late in order to check a project for errors, even if you were not specifically asked to, you must be paid for it, including overtime if it applies.

The act also lays out some specific examples for what counts and does not count as work:

  • Waiting time —Waiting time depends on if you were "engaged to wait" or "waiting to be engaged." If you are a firefighter reading a book while waiting for an alarm, that means you were engaged to wait and need to be paid. If you show up 15 minutes early to your retail job, and have to wait for the manager to arrive to unlock the door, you are waiting to be engaged and do not have to be paid for the time you spent waiting.
  • On-Call Time — If you were on call on the employer's premises, you must be paid. If you were on call while at home or while paying attention to a cell phone, you usually do not need to be paid unless being on call led to constraints on your freedom.
  • Sleeping time — If you are on duty for less than 24 hours, your employer is required to pay you for sleep time when you are not busy and sleep for less than 5 hours. If you are on duty for more than 24 hours, you can reach an agreement with your employer not to be paid for sleeping periods of up to 8 hours, as long as adequate sleeping facilities are available and you can sleep uninterrupted.
  • Lectures, Meetings and Training Programs — These must be paid unless all four of the following elements are true:
    1. It is outside normal working hours
    2. It is voluntary
    3. It is not job-related
    4. No other work is being performed at the same time
  • Travel time — This depends on the type of travel involved. Going from home to work is different than traveling to a different city to meet with a client. If traveling for work means you are away from home overnight, then the time spent traveling is considered work as far as it overlaps with normal working hours.

What work you deserve to be paid for depends on factors such as the specifics of your job, any contractual agreements with your employer and whether or not you are part of a union. If you believe you are not being properly compensated for tasks that should be considered work, call a St. Louis labor and wage law lawyer at Burger Law today at [wcac-phone].

What Can I Do If I Am Not Being Paid Fairly?

What Can I Do If I Am Not Being Paid Fairly? | St. Louis Labor and Wage Law Lawyer

If you believe your St. Louis employer is not paying you an hourly rate sufficient under law, the first thing you should do is file a minimum wage complaint with the Missouri Department of Labor. Then, reach out to a lawyer if your complaint does not reach a successful resolution.

If you believe that work essential to the performance of your job is not being paid for, reach out to a labor and wage law lawyer in St. Louis immediately. It is very possible your employer is already aware they are taking advantage of you and have a legal defense laid out. Talk to your coworkers to find out if they are being treated the same. If so, you may be able to file a class action labor and wage law lawsuit.

You Worked Hard to Get Paid. We Work Hard to Get Justice.

You Worked Hard to Get Paid. We Work Hard to Get Justice.

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Class Action Lawsuits in Labor and Wage Law

St. Louis Class Action Lawsuits in Labor and Wage Law

A class action lawsuit is a case where multiple plaintiffs — in this case you and your coworkers who have not been rightfully paid for their hard work — come together to file one lawsuit against a single entity — in this case your employer. At Burger Law, our labor and wage law lawyers in St. Louis won a recent settlement in one of the most successful wage law class action lawsuits in Missouri history:

We were proud to represent the hard-working corrections officers in a lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections. Our St. Louis labor and wage law lawyers found that for decades the department had not been paying officers for approximately 15 minutes of pre-shift and 15 minutes of post-shift activities that were essential to their job. Those activities included security checkpoints, retrieving equipment, receiving shift briefs from the previous shift and more. Not only was the work required, but they were required to be on high alert for security issues at all times. Nevertheless, the department refused to compensate them for it.

In 2018, we were able to secure a $113.7 million verdict in a jury trial. While the state filed various appeals, including taking the case all the way up to the Missouri Supreme Court, we recently reached a settlement which fairly compensates the officers for the unpaid work time. We also made sure future time was paid as well; for the next eight years, officers will automatically receive 15 minutes of overtime pay per shift, leading to thousands of extra dollars a year for these hard-working prison guards. It is not easy to change the system, but these officers deserved it.

You can read more about the Missouri Department of Corrections Class Action Lawsuit here.

What Compensation Will I Receive in My St. Louis Labor and Wage Law Case?

Through our experience, legal knowledge and tenacity, Burger Law's labor and wage law lawyers in St. Louis will help you receive:

  • Unpaid wages — Your employer will have to pay you all of the money you should have received but did not, including overtime wages if they apply.
  • Liquidated damages — According to Missouri Revised Statute §290.527, your employer will also have to pay liquidated damages, an additional amount "equal to twice the unpaid wages."
  • Attorneys' fees — Your employer will also have to pay for your attorneys' fees and any other costs associated with the case, so you do not have to sustain additional financial loss by hiring legal representation.
  • Penalties — The court also may decide to implement punitive damages if they found the employers' unwillingness to pay you to be especially egregious.

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Hire a Labor and Wage Law Lawyer in St. Louis

Getting paid fairly for your work is one of the pillars of a free society. You did not work hard just to be cheated and mistreated, but know that Burger Law will work equally as hard for you to ensure you see the fruits of your labor. Dishonest St. Louis employers often depend on their employees' lack of legal knowledge or resources to unjustly and illegally cut down on costs. Unlike your employer or previous employer, the St. Louis labor and wage law lawyers of Burger Law are loyal, honest, fair and forthright. We will stand by your side and make sure you are paid every penny you are owed and that you receive a sense of justice. Call a St. Louis and Missouri labor and wage law lawyer at Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form for a free consultation.