When unionized workers are hired in New York, they presume that they will be paid accordingly for the job that they are completing. The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, is a federal law that is enforced and overseen by the Department of Labor. This Act sets basic minimum wages and overtime pay. While the Department's Wage and Hour Division enforces these standards, employees oftentimes find themselves in predicaments where they do not think their wage and hour rights are being protected.
What are common causes of a wage and hour dispute? Unions might assert a claim if they do not believe their workers are receiving the current minimum wage. As of July 24, 2009, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which applies to any worker that is covered by the FLSA.
Another issue that might cause a unionized employee to file an action is not receiving overtime pay. According to the FLSA, overtime pay must be at least 150 percent the regular pay rate. This overtime rate kicks in after 40 hours of work has been completed in a single workweek.
One should note that there are certain exemptions, but these apply to specific types of business or specific types of work. For example, those who receive contracts from the federal government may fall under the Service Contract Act or the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act. Each of these laws imposes different standards, which means that employment violations in one field may not be violations in another.
If you believe your wage and hour rights are not being upheld in the workplace, it is important to understand your rights and options. Unionized workers could seek legal recourses, helping them offset damages caused by the matter.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Wages," accessed March 26, 2017