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Federal Employment Law

Kansas City Attorneys Assert Employees’ Rights Under Federal Law

Firm offers skilled advocacy for workers in disputes with employers

If you’re at odds with your employer over pay, family leave, workplace safety or some other issue, you may feel like the boss has all the power. Fortunately, federal law is on your side on many issues, affording you rights and guaranteeing fair treatment. At the Barnes Law Firm LLC, our employment law team helps workers assert these rights to obtain fair compensation and court orders for equitable relief. Throughout the greater Kansas City area, we have a strong reputation for effective representation and positive results.

Invoking federal employment laws to protect workers

Starting in the early 20th century, Congress began passing legislation to address labor injustices in U.S. industry to provide workers with a wide range of federal protections. The principal laws are:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act — Enacted in 1938, the FLSA is the landmark law that established a minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments.
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 — This amendment to the FLSA makes it illegal to pay some workers lower wages than others solely on the basis of their sex.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 — The ADEA prohibits businesses from discriminating in employment against anyone 40 years of age or older.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 — This landmark legislation of the civil rights movement bans employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act — Enacted in 1990, the ADA prohibits employment discrimination against persons with disabilities. The law generally requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities.
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act — The FMLA requires providing certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year, along with group health benefits during the leave.

If you suspect that your rights under any federal employment law are being jeopardized or denied, you can trust our knowledgeable and determined lawyers to fight for justice on your behalf.

Enforcing FLSA wage and hour guarantees

The Fair Labor Standards Act ensures a number of rights for employees of certain enterprises having workers engaged in interstate commerce, producing goods for interstate commerce, or handling, selling or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for such commerce. Among the FLSA’s protections are:

  • Minimum wage — Employers must pay all covered employees not less than the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Missouri, though, has set a higher minimum wage, which is currently $7.85.
  • Equal pay for equal work — Men and women who do the same job or jobs that require equal skill and responsibility generally must be compensated with equal wages and benefits.
  • Overtime pay — Most workers covered by the FLSA must be paid at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for every hour worked in excess of 40 hours in one week.
  • Child labor restrictions — The FLSA includes limits on hours of work for minors under 16 and prohibits their employment in jobs deemed too dangerous for minors to perform.

Employees paid on a non-hourly basis — such as annual salary, piece work, tips or commissions — are still covered by the FLSA, though special rules apply in calculating their overtime pay.

Policing overtime pay requirements

Generally, employees covered by the FLSA qualify for overtime.  However, certain employees are considered exempt, usually because they are on salary rather than working for an hourly wage. But the mode of pay is not the only factor. The U.S. Department of Labor designates specific classes of workers as fully or partially exempt, including executives, administrative personnel, outside salespeople, highly skilled computer-related employees and licensed professionals.

Although the FLSA has been around for 80 years, some employers still try to play fast and loose with its wage and overtime requirements. Common ploys include:

  • Requiring job related tasks before and/or after clocking in
  • Charging excessive uniform fees
  • Requiring work during scheduled break time or lunches
  • Misclassifying workers as exempt who should qualify for overtime

If you have questions about wage and hour, overtime or any of your employment rights, our attorneys are ready to provide answers and aggressive representation.

Contact an aggressive Kansas City lawyer for a free employment law consultation

The Barnes Law Firm LLC advocates strongly for workers who have had their federal rights violated in the greater Kansas City area. Please call 816-221-4321 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Our office is conveniently located at 919 W 47th Street in Kansas City, Missouri.

Recent Results
  • $15.6 million dollar judgment for car accident victim

  • $12 Million total settlement for multiple burn victims

  • $3.75 Million dollar FELA judgment for toxic tort victim

  • $35 Million judgment for motorcycle driver who suffered a lower left leg and right arm amputation as a result of a motor vehicle collision.

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    Excellent lawyer, was involved in a very bad multi party burn case with him.

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    Ken Barnes is an outstanding FELA lawyer.

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    Ken Barnes is an outstanding lawyer.

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    Ken is an exceptional lawyer.

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