Wage & Overtime

Overtime Rules Issued by U.S. Department of Labor

On May 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new rules that will result in a pay raise for millions of workers. Employees who earn less than $47,476 will now be automatically eligible for overtime pay. The new rules include salaried and hourly employees who work more than 40 hours per week. The new rules also expand eligibility to many professional and administrative workers who were previously not entitled to overtime pay. For more details on how these changes may affect you, please visit http://www.newovertimepayrules.com/.

Unpaid Overtime

Do you earn between $23,000 and $47,476 per year? If so, you may be eligible to receive overtime pay, whether you are a salaried or hourly employee. Under new rules issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, most workers who earn less than $47,476 will now be entitled to time and a half pay if they work more than 40 hours per week. Are you being paid appropriately for every hour you’ve worked? If you aren’t certain, you’re not alone. The federal and state laws regulating overtime pay can be confusing. But one thing remains crystal clear: you work hard for your employer, and you should receive every dollar of the compensation you are legally due.

Who is eligible for overtime pay?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the federal employee pay protection law), if you work more than 40 hours in a given workweek, and you are a nonexempt employee, you’re entitled to receive one-and-a-half times your regular rate of pay for every hour you work over the 40-hour mark.

Unlike nonexempt employees, exempt employees are ineligible for overtime. To be classified as an exempt employee, you must earn at least $913 a week, and must be paid on a “salary basis.” Being paid on a “salary basis” means an employee regularly receives a predetermined amount of compensation each pay period on a weekly, or less frequent, basis, and the employer does not make deductions from the predetermined amount. The types of jobs that are typically exempt from overtime pay include outside salespeople, people who manage at least two other employees, administrative professionals who provide support to the larger organization, and those in “learned professions” including attorneys, architects, physicians and teachers. 

If you’re concerned that you’re missing out on overtime pay because your employer is misclassifying your position, contact the unpaid class action attorneys at Outten & Golden LLP today for a consultation.

How do employers avoid paying overtime?

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some employers engage in unlawful practices to avoid paying overtime:

  • They may calculate overtime by pay period instead of work week — for example, by averaging together the hours over several weeks
  • They may misclassify your position as an “exempt” salaried position when it doesn’t meet the criteria — for example, classifying you as a “manager” without the associated responsibilities
  • They may ask you to clock out prior to finishing a specific task or job
  • They may say that you didn’t get permission to work overtime and therefore, they don’t have to pay you for your additional hours

If you find yourself in one of these situations, you should contact the unpaid overtime attorneys at Outten & Golden for a consultation.

What if I think I’m not being properly compensated for my overtime?

If you think that your employer has misclassified you as a way to sidestep overtime pay, you’re constantly being asked to clock out and then finish tasks, or you have any other concerns about unpaid overtime, it’s in your best interest to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible.  The overtime protection laws have strict limitation periods that require action before the claims expire.  An experienced unpaid overtime attorney will help determine if unpaid overtime is owed to you, as well as represent you in the process of collecting monies due from your employer.

Choose an Experienced Unpaid Overtime Lawyer

Our firm has long been a national leader in wage and hour litigation.  In 2000, we began litigating Ansoumana v. Gristede’s Operating Corporation, one of the first cases allowing federal and state wage and hour claims to proceed in one federal class action lawsuit.  After three years of litigation, a class-wide settlement was reached with four grocery store defendants for a total amount of $8.1 million plus additional job-related benefits for our clients and other grocery store delivery workers in and around New York City. 

In 2004, we filed Torres v. Gristede's, another case on behalf of New York City grocery store workers, where a federal judge found that Gristede's violated the FLSA and the New York Labor Law by failing to pay class members proper overtime compensation, and later held Gristede's owner, John Catsimatidis, individually responsible for the unpaid wages.
More recently, we have led the charge in protecting the rights of unpaid interns with our cutting-edge unpaid wages litigation.  We have filed wage claims for unpaid intern lawsuits against film studios, publishing houses, television and entertainment conglomerates, talent agencies, and other types of companies. 

In 2013, we won a groundbreaking victory in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., where a federal judge found that Fox Searchlight violated the FLSA and New York Labor Law by using unpaid interns to perform productive work.  Because of the innovative work of Outten & Golden attorneys, along with workers' rights activists, and our brave clients, many companies, including publishing houses, film studios, and companies in other industries have started to pay their interns.

Other notable successes include:

  • Outten & Golden collected close to $14 million for servers, bussers, back of the house workers, and other restaurant workers throughout New York City in minimum wage, overtime, and tip-theft cases.  Our successes include settlements with Bold Food LLC, Altamarea Group LLC, T-Bone Restaurant, Bowery Bar, Buddha Bar, and others.  We also secured a $5.6 million minimum wage, overtime, and tip-theft judgment for front of the house and back of the house workers at Mama Mexico restaurants in New York City.
  • Outten & Golden class action attorneys have secured more than $72 million in overtime settlements for technical support workers against telecommunication companies, banks, and other national corporations.
  • In the retail industry, O&G has collected $9.5 million for assistant store managers for unpaid overtime.
  • We’ve negotiated $8 million for dancers and entertainers in the adult nightclub industry who were misclassified as independent contractors and not paid proper minimum or overtime wages, including earned fees and tips.
  • Grocery store workers received $4.5 million in lost wages who were denied proper overtime compensation because their employers unlawfully paid them under the "fluctuating workweek" (half-time for overtime) method of overtime compensation based on a settlement secured by O&G class attorneys.
  • Outten & Golden has negotiated settlements totaling more than $135 million in unpaid overtime wages for bank and brokerage employees throughout the country, including assistant managers, customer service managers, relationship managers, personal bankers, loan officers and consultants, and financial advisors and consultants.
  • Outten & Golden frequently collaborates with smaller law firms across the country to successfully prosecute national wage and hour class actions against some of the largest corporations in the world.

You’ve worked hard, and you deserve to be paid fairly for that hard work. Contact the class action attorneys at Outten & Golden today for a consultation on the specifics of your unpaid overtime concerns.

(Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)