Filing a Wage and Hour Claim – Wyoming
Does Wyoming have state overtime laws that are different from federal law?
Wyoming law does not address the question of overtime payments except for state and county employers and employers with public works contracts. Anyone who works on a public works contract is entitled to one and a half times her/his ordinary rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 in a given week. State and county employees are entitled to similar overtime, subject to special rules and regulations.
Does Wyoming have a minimum wage that is different from federal law?
Wyoming law has a minimum wage of $5.15 per hour, which is lower than the federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour. An employer may pay employees under the age of 20 $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive days of their employment. However, it is illegal for employers to replace employees simply in order to pay this lower wage. Tipped employees can be paid a base of $2.13 per hour, as long as their base salary plus tips adds up to the minimum wage
Wyoming’s minimum wage law does not apply to the following employees:
- Agricultural workers
- Employees in domestic service in or about a private home
- Bona fide executive, administrative, or professional employees
- Employees of the U.S. government, the state, or any political subdivision of the state
- Individuals engaged in the activities of an educational, charitable, religious, or nonprofit organization where the employer-employee relationship does not, in fact, exist or where the services rendered to such organization are on a voluntary basis
- Outside salespersons whose compensation is based solely on commission on sales
- Employees whose job is to drive an ambulance or other vehicle from time to time as necessity requires but who are on call at any time
Employers may pay tipped employees as little as $2.13 per hour in cash wages, as long as the employees’ tips plus cash wages add up to the minimum wage of $5.15
Employers may also count against the minimum wage the cost of any tools, equipment, uniforms, or other items required for the job, provided that the employee has possession of the items and the employer provides a written receipt. If an employer gives an employee equipment or uniforms to be returned upon termination and the employee does not return them, that can also be taken out of wages. Again, this requires that the employer make this clear in writing at the time the items were given to the employee.
Does Wyoming have meal and rest break requirements, unlike federal law?
Like federal law, Wyoming law does not require employers to provide meal or rest breaks to their employees.
How do I file a wage/hour or labor standards claim in Wyoming?
If your employer owes you wages, you can file a claim with the Wyoming Department of Employment. The on-line form can be found at https://doe.state.wy.us/laborstds/. The Department has the authority to investigate your claim, hold hearings, and issue a decision that either party can have reviewed within the Department and, eventually, by a court.
What are my time deadlines?
Do not delay in contacting the Wyoming Department of Employment to file a claim. There are strict time limits in which charges of wage-and-hour violations must be filed. In order for the Department to act on your behalf, you must file your claim within two years of the date on which your wages were due. However, as you might have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, do not wait to file your claim until your time limit is close to expiring. You may wish to consult with an attorney prior to filing your claim, if possible. Yet if you are unable to find an attorney who will assist you, it is not necessary to have an attorney to file your claim with the Department.
How can I or my attorney pursue a claim in court in Wyoming?
It is also possible to file a lawsuit to recover unpaid wages from your employer. In addition to awarding you your back wages, the court can also require your employer to pay you 18% annual interest on those wages, and to pay your litigation costs and attorneys’ fees. It is unclear what the statute of limitations is in such a case, so if you are considering a lawsuit, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Wyoming Department of Employment
Labor Standards Office
Cherie Doak, Program Manager
1510 E. Pershing Blvd., West Wing
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-7261
Fax: (307) 777-5633
Casper Field Office
100 W. Midwest
P.O. Box 2760
Casper, WY 82602
Phone: (307) 235-3679
This material was originally prepared by attorney Joseph Jaramillo and former law clerks Keia Cole and Adam Weiss of the law firm Goldstein, Demchak Baller Borgen and Dardarian, and was updated by Professor Douglas D. Scherer, of Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. Professor Scherer also serves as the Vice President of Workplace Fairness.
© 2015 Workplace Fairness