Goose Creek Wage and Hour Lawyer

Is your employer a large corporation that denies you overtime pay or classifies you as an independent contractor when you function as an employee, directed by a boss? These overzealous acts are your employer’s attempt to bolster their bottom line for shareholders—at your expense. If you are in a situation like this, you may believe you have no recourse. However, there are legal options to pursue full and fair compensation.

South Carolina companies also must pay a minimum wage to hourly employees, and any deductions from your paycheck should be discussed with you. If you believe your employer is cheating you out of the money you earned, a Goose Creek wage and hour lawyer will stand up for your rights. Reach out to Miller | Conway to being working with a trusted corporate law attorney.

South Carolina’s Minimum Wage and Overtime

Currently, South Carolina follows the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, as dictated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In January 2023, a joint resolution was proposed to ask voters during the 2024 elections if they believe the state’s minimum wage should be raised to $15.00 an hour. The bill now resides in the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce, and Industry. If voters agree, South Carolina employers cannot choose to stick with the federal minimum wage. They will have to raise the lowest wage workers to the new state minimum.

For now, you should not be paid less than $7.25 an hour and time-and-a-half ($10.88 an hour) for any hours exceeding 40 in a normal workweek. If your employer is shorting you, a local Goose Creek wage and hour attorney knows the law inside and out and can get you the money that is rightfully yours.

Restaurant Workers and Minimum Wage

In South Carolina, tipped employees (mostly restaurant servers) are paid a minimum wage of $2.13 an hour, assuming their tips will make up the difference to the state and federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. If tips do not compensate for the difference, employers are expected to make up the difference and claim a tip credit with the government.

In 2021, The U.S, Department of Labor forced a Charleston, South Carolina, restaurant to pay tipped employees back wages of $624,017 for requiring them to share tips with management and non-tipped employees. This illegal setup left tipped employees earning less than minimum wage.

For more legal guidance about minimum wage and tipping, reach out to a Goose Creek wage and hour attorney ASAP.

Some Salaried Employees Are Eligible for Overtime Pay

Your employer may tell you that you are not entitled to overtime because you are paid a salary, but that is not the only criteria to meet for an overtime exemption.

In South Carolina, salaried employees perform work requiring specialized knowledge and make independent decisions integral to the company. If they earn at least $100,000 annually and perform any duty as an executive, professional, or administrator, they are exempt from earning overtime. Other South Carolina employees exempt from overtime include:

  • Taxi drivers
  • Farmers and other seasonal workers
  • Commissioned retail auto salespersons

Even if you and your employer agree that you will forego overtime, the arrangement is illegal in this state. Private employers under the FLSA also cannot replace overtime pay with time off. A Goose Creek wage and hour attorney can review your situation and represent you before the state or federal Labor Board or in a lawsuit for monetary damages.

Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors

In recent years, employers have taken advantage of the wavering guidance the FSLA has given on classifying workers as independent contractors or employees. The FLSA is in the process of scrapping its 2021 Independent Contractor Rule in favor of more concrete guidance to include:

  • Analyzing all factors equally
  • Aligning the new guidance with court rulings and the economic reality test
  • Asking whether the work being done is integral to the employer’s business
  • Reintroducing the analysis that regards several factors and the totality of the circumstances of employment
  • Reintroducing an older interpretation of economic reality factors, including whether the worker has an investment in the job, controls the work environment, and has an opportunity to profit from the labor

Employers profit by classifying employees as independent contractors because they do not have to calculate or match any withholdings for government programs such as Social Security. In these situations, employees miss out, because Social Security and unemployment benefits do not accrue. Fortunately, a wage and hour attorney in Goose Creek can stand up to unethical business practices.

Let a Goose Creek Wage and Hour Attorney Fight for the Money You Deserve

You work hard—and you are entitled to every penny of your earnings. If your employer is deducting from your paycheck and you do not know why, or if they classify you as an independent contractor when you believe you are an employee, force you to share tips, or refuse to pay overtime, we can help.

No employer has the right to steal from you. If your employer has singled you out, we offer the personal attention you deserve. If the problem you are experiencing is widespread among other employees, we can organize a class-action lawsuit to reimburse everyone affected. Contact a Goose Creek wage and hour lawyer today and get reimbursed for your time and effort.