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U.S. Department of Labor Things To Know About Wages

U.S. Department of Labor Things To Know About Wages

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It’s important to know the basics about wages. In today’s era of information overload what is legal pay and what a employee receives can get lost between "the ghost of Madison county garbage parking lot seen by hundreds of people" and "Britney Spears does it again." Here are the basic things everybody should know about wages.

Educational Level & Pay

Generally speaking, jobs that require high levels of education and skill pay higher wages than jobs that require few skills and little education. Statistics from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) validate this viewpoint by revealing that the unemployment rate among people who have a professional degree is significantly lower than that of people who have a high school diploma or less than a complete high school education. In addition, earnings increase significantly as a worker's degree of education rises.

Garnishment

Wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which a person’s earnings are required by court order to be withheld by an employer for the payment of a debt such as child support. Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) prohibits an employer from discharging an employee whose earnings have been subject to garnishment for any one debt, regardless of the number of levies made or proceedings brought to collect it.

It does not, however, protect an employee from discharge if the employee's earnings have been subject to garnishment for a second or subsequent debts.

Hazard Pay

Hazard pay means additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship. Work duty that causes extreme physical discomfort and distress which is not adequately alleviated by protective devices is deemed to impose a physical hardship. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not address the subject of hazard pay, except to require that it be included as part of a federal employee's regular rate of pay in computing the employee's overtime pay.

Holiday Pay

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations or holidays (federal or otherwise). These benefits are generally a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative).

Industrial Homework/Piecework

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), industrial homework (also called "piecework") means the production by any covered person in a home, apartment, or room in a residential establishment, of goods for an employer who permits or authorizes such production, regardless of the source (whether obtained from an employer or elsewhere) of the materials used by the homeworker in producing these items.

The performance of certain types of industrial homework is prohibited under the FLSA unless the employer has obtained prior certification from the Department of Labor. Restrictions apply in the manufacture of knitted outerwear, gloves and mittens, buttons and buckles, handkerchiefs, embroideries, and jewelry, if there are no safety and health hazards. The manufacture of women's apparel (and jewelry under hazardous conditions) is generally prohibited. All individually covered homework is subject to the FLSA's minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements. Employers must provide workers with handbooks to record time, expenses, and pay information.

Last Paycheck

Employers are not required by federal law to give former employees their final paycheck immediately. Some states, however, may require immediate payment. If the regular payday for the last pay period an employee worked has passed and the employee has not been paid, contact the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division or the state labor department.

Merit Pay Merit pay, also known as pay-for-performance, is defined as a raise in pay based on a set of criteria set by the employer. This usually involves the employer conducting a review meeting with the employee to discuss the employee's work performance during a certain time period. Merit pay is a matter between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative). Overtime Pay

An employer who requires or permits an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay the employee premium pay for such overtime work. Employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek of at least one and one-half times their regular rates of pay. The FLSA does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest.

Extra pay for working weekends or nights is a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee's representative). The FLSA does not require extra pay for weekend or night work or double time pay.

Severance Pay

Severance pay is often granted to employees upon termination of employment. It is usually based on length of employment for which an employee is eligible upon termination. There is no requirement in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for severance pay. Severance pay is a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative). The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) may be able to assist an employee who did not receive severance benefits under their employer-sponsored plan. Please contact EBSA if you have any questions.

Subminimum Wage

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides for the employment of certain individuals at wage rates below the minimum wage. These individuals include student-learners (vocational education students), as well as full-time students employed by retail or service establishments, agriculture, or institutions of higher education. Also included are individuals whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by a physical or mental disability, including those related to age or injury, for the work to be performed.

Employment at less than the minimum wage is designed to prevent the loss of employment opportunities for these individuals. Certificates issued by the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division are required for this type of employment.

The youth minimum wage is authorized by the FLSA, which allows employers to pay employees under 20 years of age a lower wage for 90 calendar days after they are first employed. Any wage rate above $4.25 an hour may be paid to eligible workers during this 90-day period.

Tips

A tipped employee engages in an occupation in which he or she customarily and regularly receives more than $30 per month in tips. An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 per hour in direct wages if that amount combined with the tips received at least equals the federal minimum wage. If the employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 per hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. Many states, however, require higher direct wage amounts for tipped employees.

References

Comments

  1. dnt agree

    i'd have to say that no matter what job (other than dep. of labor staff)DN"T expect to get unemploymentpay if laid off. these cocksucker are fucking leaches that suck up our taxes and call it a day at 1pm fuck dep of labor right up the ass ,the only job any one should look for is one without ANY chance of a lay off. kiss my ass DOL

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