The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, is the federal government’s law concerning the workplace standards required of private and public employers. A law first enacted in 1938, this includes topics such as minimum wage, overtime rules, and the prohibition of sex discrimination.
While states are required to follow this federal mandate, many states have expanded upon the minimum requirements set out by federal law. South Carolina is not one of them.
It is important to know what your rights are as a worker and how to remedy any violation of those rights.
Charleston FLSA lawyers work with people whose rights as workers have been violated to recover the wages and dignity that they deserve. Consult with a Charleston injury attorney to build a case to help produce a successful result on your behalf.
Workers’ Rights under South Carolina Law
South Carolina Law Title 41 is the state’s statute concerning labor law. While this title covers topics ranging from how wages must be paid to unemployment insurance, nowhere in this title are there any increases to the federal minimum provisions created in the FLSA. Therefore, these federal minimum protections apply:
- The minimum wage in South Carolina is $7.25 for hourly workers. The list of workers for whom this minimum wage does not apply is extensive and includes wait-staff, agricultural workers, and professionals.
- Overtime is paid out at one and a half times the hourly wage for every hour worked over 40 hours. Again, this does not apply for professionals or agricultural workers.
- It is illegal to pay workers of differing sexes differing hourly rates solely because of their sex. Differing pay can be provided however based upon systems of seniority, merit, or production quotas.
If an employer has violated any of these provisions, Charleston FLSA attorneys can help. In many cases, people are not sure whether they are the type of employee covered by these protections. Fair Labor Standard Acts attorneys in Charleston can help to make that determination.
Filing a Claim
South Carolina law provides a means by which an employee can file a complaint for a wage violation against an employer. South Carolina Law 41-10-70 states that:
“Upon written complaint of any employee alleging a violation of this chapter, the Director of the Department of Labor…may institute an investigation of the alleged violation. If the Director…determines that a violation exists, they shall endeavor to resolve all issues by informal methods of mediation and conciliation.”
This initial complaint to the Department of Labor is extremely important. A well worded and concise complaint must convince this department to open an investigation. If that investigation turns up a violation, a mediation session will determine the result. A mediation session is not a court hearing, but rather a form of alternative dispute resolution designed to give each party a fair chance at demonstrating their case.
In addition to filing a complaint with the Department of Labor, workers also have the right to pursue legal action. South Carolina Law 41-10-80 (c) allows workers to sue for unpaid wages up to three times the amount due. If the mediation session is not successful, an FLSA attorney will be prepared to file this suit in a Charleston court.
Benefit of an Attorney
Charleston FLSA lawyers help clients through every step of this process. From filing the initial complaint to the Department of Labor, to representing clients at the mediation session, to filing suit in court for unpaid wages, Charleston fair labor standard act lawyers work diligently and thoroughly to help their clients receive the wages to which they are entitled.
The process of filing a complaint and attending a mediation can be intimidating. Do not allow yourself to be cheated out of the wages that you have earned. Contact a lawyer today to discuss your case.