Despite the old saying, time is not always money. A Tennessee worker may put in more than 40 hours on the job, but if the employer refuses to pay overtime, that worker has essentially given away that time. Forcing employees who qualify for overtime pay to work beyond their scheduled time without compensating them is against the law, and despite numerous lawsuits, one national corporation doesn't seem to be getting the message.
When people in Tennessee apply for jobs, it is typically because they expect those jobs to help them pay for the things they need, such as rent, clothing and transportation. Certain jobs carry legal minimum wages, and others carry contractually agreed upon pay. Wage and hour disputes arise when workers believe their employers have not paid the amount of money owed for the work they have done. Wage theft may take many forms and is not always easy to identify.
Serving patrons in a restaurant is a demanding job. It may be one of the few jobs where people's pay depends on how personable and pleasant they are. This is because many Tennessee servers are paid less than minimum wage under the assumption that their tips will equal the minimum. A good server may make considerably more than standard wages, making the job attractive to those with outgoing personalities. However, the Department of Labor may be proposing a change to the rules, which some consider a form of wage theft.
Because certain jobs require more training or education, those who are hired for those jobs may expect to get higher pay than those in other positions. Work that demands more skill or incurs potential danger may be worth more money to a business owner or manager. However, some employers may try to take advantage of a laborer by incorrectly classifying him or her to avoid paying a fair wage. When these wage and hour disputes arise, Tennessee workers may seek legal assistance to get what is rightfully theirs.
It is not uncommon for Hollywood actors to branch out into other fields, such as music or theater. Now and then, an actor tries an industry far removed from the arts, such as running a restaurant. Restaurant ownership is not always what celebrities expect, and when wage and hour disputes erupt, actors may find their reputations on the line. Tennessee fans may recognize one actress who is currently embroiled in such a lawsuit after employees at her elite restaurant complained of wage theft.
The gig economy is growing in Tennessee and across the country. Employers benefit from having contract workers who do not require insurance or other benefits. Gig workers gain the flexibility of the freelance life. However, more frequently, the gig economy is leading to wage and hour disputes as the definition of gig work become fuzzy.
The work of a Tennessee nurse is often exhausting. Nurses spend many hours on their feet and may work long shifts with demanding responsibilities. When a nurse has the opportunity to take a break, that time is likely precious and well-deserved. However, recently some nurses in another state have revealed that the hospitals where they work are not granting them the breaks they deserve. The wage and hour disputes between the nurses and their employers may gain class action status.
Coffee and donuts on the way to work is routine for many people in Tennessee. Fortunately, commuters can usually find a Dunkin' Donuts nearby to satisfy their morning cravings. However, for workers in a Dunkin' Donuts franchise in another state, their job situation was less than satisfying. After overcoming their fear of losing their job or being reprimanded, employees joined together in a wage and hour dispute against the owner of the franchise.
For many in Tennessee, overtime hours close the gap between falling behind and making ends meet. Those extra hours are often sacrificed from time spent with family or much needed rest and relaxation, but some may have no choice if they want to pay their mortgages or provide for their children. This is why federal law protects workers when unfair pay practices result in wage and hour disputes with their employers.
The federal minimum wage per hour is about enough to buy one meal at a Tennessee fast food restaurant. Those working minimum wage jobs often count on every penny to meet their obligations. Nevertheless, among many employers, wage and hour disputes seem to carry considerably less weight than preventing shoplifting. In fact, a recent study compared losses due to shoplifting with the loss workers feel when paid unfair wages.