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Chicago Wage Dispute Lawyer

Chicago Wage Dispute Lawyer

Wage and hour disputes have a huge impact on your community and your family. A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work is the foundation of our economy. If this foundation is shaky, everything built on top of it is at risk. Furthermore, most Chicagoland families live from paycheck to paycheck. Any wage or hour shortfall can have a devastating financial effect.

Since so much is at stake, you need an aggressive lawyer to handle your wage and hour dispute. At the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline, we take on large employers who try to cheat workers out of their wages just to pad corporate profits. We stand up for you, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because we live here, too. In our experience, if you take care of the foundation, the house is much easier to maintain.

Employee Misclassification

As the gig economy picks up steam, worker misclassification becomes more of a problem. To save money on payroll taxes, employers sometimes classify employees as independent contractors. As a result, workers must pay more taxes out of their own pockets. Furthermore, independent contractors have fewer legal protections than regular workers. Additionally, many independent contractors are ineligible for health insurance and other benefits.

The federal government has a test that separates regular employees from independent contractors. Basically, the worker is probably a regular employee if there is an ongoing business relationship and the employer controls any key aspects of the worker’s job. However, this test is subjective. A diligent attorney is the key to a successful outcome.

The employee-supervisor distinction, however, is a bit more objective. Nevertheless, employers routinely misclassify workers as exempt employees to deny them overtime pay. Under current law, the following workers are exempt from the federal government’s overtime requirement:

  • Salaried executives,
  • Certain administrative workers,
  • Salaried white-collar or “creative” professionals,
  • Computer workers, and
  • Sales professionals.

Different rules apply to firefighters, police officers, and other emergency responders, as well as certain medical personnel.

These categories are still rather subjective, so unless you have a forceful attorney during a wage dispute, the court may basically only hear one side of the story.

Employee Misuse

Illinois is an at-will employment state. Most workers can be fired at any time for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. Furthermore, most employees do not have written or oral employment contracts.

So, when it comes to job duties, many workers have very little bargaining power. An attorney evens the odds in these situations.

The aforementioned rise of the gig economy has also changed the way employers look at unpaid or low-paid interns. Many bosses no longer treat these individuals like future leaders. Instead, they assign them menial tasks which are more suited for low-level employees.

These underpaid or unpaid workers have legal options. They are entitled to back pay, credit for the work they have done, and respect in the workplace. Quite often, unpaid intern claims become large class-action legal cases. That status could mean substantial compensation for workers.

Tip-sharing is often an issue, as well. Most restaurant workers count on customer tips to help them make ends meet at home. Supervising employees are generally eligible for tip-sharing, as are non-customer-facing workers. However, for financial reasons or just because they think they can get away with it, employers routinely flaunt these important rules.

Reach Out to an Assertive Attorney

Wage disputes are increasingly common in Illinois, and they can have a tremendous impact. For a free consultation with an experienced employment law attorney in Chicago, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline.

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