Employers who fail to abide by federal and state employment laws may be subject to civil money penalties and can be sued individually or collectively by many, depending on how many employees are impacted.
If you’re a worker who’s been denied overtime pay, underpaid, or been the victim of another type of wage theft, you may be able to file an FLSA claim against your employer to recover your wages and seek additional compensation with the help of an experienced wage and hour attorney.
The History Of FLSA
On June 25, 1938, President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act (popularly known as the Wages and Hours Bill). The law established a minimum wage, a standardized work week, and made it a requirement for employers to pay extra for overtime work.
What Does This Mean For Me?
When the law passed, it guaranteed the following to workers who do not fall under exemptions:
Wages must be paid at regular intervals in a pay period. There are a few things it does not guarantee. The FLSA does not cover break periods, sick time, or holidays. It also does not guarantee premium pay for working holidays or the distribution of final wages after employment terminates. While it does indicate when overtime pay is required (generally when an employee works over 40 hours in a week), it is not a cap on the number of hours an employee works.
Although it has its limitations if you are facing issues other than wage and hour challenges you may still have a claim under other laws regarding worker treatment . Since many complaints of employees deal with the mere non-payment of wages, the protections of the FLSA still provide an effective remedy.
The Difference Between Exempt and Nonexempt Employees
Exempt and Nonexempt Employees
What Are White Collar Exemptions?
Examples include general managers, business owners, CEOs, and vice presidents.
Examples include office secretaries and office managers.
Examples include doctors, lawyers, architects, computer scientists, writers, artists, and so on.
How Could An Employer Fail to Pay Overtime?
Some employees avoid paying their employees overtime wages by misclassifying employees as exempt employees or independent contractors. For example, although an employee classified as exempt may have a title of “manager” or some other supervisory title, if they still spend most of their time doing the same work as hourly employees and don’t have actual authority to make important decisions, they may be misclassified as exempt. This can be fairly common with workers in retail and banking, such as assistant managers or department managers. Other tactics employers may use to avoid paying overtime include:
Overtime pay can be a substantial boost to hourly employees who often rely on the additional compensation to pay for life’s basic needs. However, it is not uncommon for hourly employees to be denied overtime pay, which can be devastating to employees who have put in more than forty (40) hours in one workweek. Many employees who are denied overtime pay may not know what steps to take to fight for their rights and assert that their employers are obligated to pay overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Standing up to an employer’s unlawful activities takes courage. Employees are sometimes hesitant to complain about unpaid overtime or wages, out of concern that their employer will fire them on the spot – or engage in more subtle forms of retaliation. The federal FLSA has a strong anti-retaliation provision that forbids employers from punishing employees who raise concerns about their wages or overtime pay.
If you have any questions about FLSA retaliation law, unpaid wages, or employment law in general, you can contact the Wage & Hour Practice Group at Outten & Golden for a confidential review of your claim.
Fighting for Overtime Pay Without the Help of an Attorney
Many employees who have a close relationship with their employers may be able to resolve an overtime dispute without the assistance of an attorney. If an employer has mistakenly failed to pay overtime or has mistakenly misclassified an employee and recognizes the error, that employer has an opportunity to correct the issue right away. However, if an employee does not have a close relationship with his/her employer or feels that a discussion of overtime pay will be contentious, discussing the matter with an employment attorney is a good idea to ensure the employer complies with all overtime laws and regulations.
Outten & Golden May Be Able To Help With Your FLSA Wage Claim
If you have been unlawfully denied overtime pay or have been misclassified as an exempt employee, you should consider discussing your situation with an employment lawyer right away. Contact us today for a confidential review of your claim to learn whether there are legal options available for your situation.