On the Job: Do I have a right to my paycheck?

This column is written and sponsored by Alan Lescht & Associates, PC, an employment litigation firm in Washington, DC, that handles cases involving contract disputes, wage and hour issues, discrimination and retaliation, wrongful termination, whistleblower retaliation and security clearances.

DC laws govern when, how, and how much your employer must pay you. In fact, DC laws provide employees with more protections than federal laws. This article applies to most employees who work in DC.

How much should I be paid?

If you work in DC, minimum wage is $12.50 per hour. However, if you are a tipped employee, you must be paid at least $3.33 per hour, and your combined hourly wages and tips must be equal at least $12.50 per hour.

When does my employer have to pay me?

Your employer should establish a regular pay day schedule with at least two paydays per calendar month. It is also okay for your employer to pay you once per month, if that is its regular procedure.

If you resign or quit, you must receive your final paycheck no later than the next regular pay day. For example, say your employer pays you on the first and third Mondays of every month. If you resign on Friday, August 11, 2017, you should receive your final paycheck by Monday, August 21, 2017

However, if your employer terminates your employment (e.g., you’re fired or laid off), you must receive your final paycheck within one working day after your job ends. Therefore, if you are fired on a Tuesday, you must receive your final paycheck by Wednesday.

Am I entitled to overtime pay?

Whether an employee is exempt depends on various factors, including but not limited to whether you receive a salary or hourly wages, how much you are paid, the skill and education necessary to do your job, and the types of job duties that you perform. Some common examples of exempt employees are attorneys, doctors, commission sales employees, and some computer professionals.

However, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime premium pay (1.5 times the regular hourly rate) for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

What can I do if my employer doesn’t pay me?

You may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer for failing to pay you overtime or minimum wage, not paying you all of your wages, or paying you late. Depending on the circumstances, a court could award you as much as three times the amount of wages your employer failed to pay you.

To learn more about your employee rights, contact Alan Lescht & Associates today. Call us at (202) 463-6036, send us an email, or visit our website and blog. Our 13 attorneys litigate all types of employment matters. Super Lawyers, WashingtonianNewsweek, AVVO, and others have recognized us as a leading employment law firm in DC.

DISCLAIMER:  This article is for general information purposes and is provided only to permit you to learn about Alan Lescht and Associates, P.C., and its services.  This information is subject to change, may not apply in all cases, and does not constitute legal advice. Contact an attorney to obtain legal advice about your case.

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