What can be done if a professional staff is getting paid well below the federal minimum wage?

The company we work for is registered in N. Y. state, with offices in N. Y. City. Many of us work virtually outside of the U.S., and others within the U.S. itself, yet we are getting far less than the stated national minimum wage of $9.70 per hour. Many of us too, are actually in what are considered high-income positions where our salaries should be 5-7 times greater and we would sincerely like to know what we can do to bring this to the right authority’s attention to stop this. We feel financially abused but also mentally by the antics and complete lack of education and qualifications that the owner himself displays. What are our options, and who can we involve to end this and get a fair salary?

Asked on May 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Workers employed within the geographic limits of the U.S. are entitled to be paid the minimum wage. However, those working outside of the U.S., even if for a U.S. company, are not covered by the minimum wage law. That is unless there exists an employment contract or other like agreement to the contrary.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Minimum wage law only applies within the U.S.: even if you work for a U.S.-based company, if you perform you work outside the country, minimum wage does not apply. Any workers who are located within the geographic borders of the U.S., however, must be paid at least minimum wage, and if not, could contact the Dept. of Labor to file a complaint.
There is NO right to paid what you consider a fair or appropriate wage, and your employer may take advantage of you  So long as they comply with any applicable minimum wage law, the employer can otherwise pay you as little as it wants.

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