Unpaid Overtime Attorney for Employees in New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, and New Jersey
Wage and hour laws clearly state overtime pay expectations for employees. Any employees who work more than forty hours a week will receive overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their salary. Employers denying their employees overtime pay are violating the law.
For over 25 years, the unpaid overtime lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped employees get the overtime pay they earned. Our experienced attorneys are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve.
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What Are the Types of Employees in the Workplace?
There are three types of employees:
- Exempt: Exempt employees are also called salaried employees. They are managers and professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc. These employees receive a salary no matter how many hours they work. They are exempt because they are not entitled to overtime pay as long as they earn at least $455 per week.
- Non-Exempt: Non-exempt employees are also known as hourly employees. Hourly employees only get paid for the hours they work. Therefore, if they work less than 40 hours per week, they will get paid for less than 40 hours per week. However, if they work more than 40 hours per week, they are entitled to overtime pay for every hour worked over 40.
- Contract: Contract employees work according to their contract. They receive payment according to their agreement. However, they are not entitled to overtime pay unless otherwise discussed in the employment contract.
What Are Some Examples of Violations of Unpaid Overtime Laws?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines the proper classifications of employees. The FLSA also outlines the rules applying to overtime pay in the workplace.
Under the FLSA, the following are violations of overtime laws:
1. Misclassifying non-exempt employees as exempt or contract employees. One of the most common breaches of FLSA laws is misclassifying employees as exempt. An employer may classify a shift supervisor as a manager or support staff as professionals. These employees will not receive overtime pay because they are classified incorrectly.
Employers will misclassify their employees to save money on overtime pay. However, misclassifying employees is a clear violation of the law. Wage and hour laws specifically prevent denying non-exempt employees (those who make less money and support their managers) overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
2. Paying comp-time instead of overtime. Sometimes employers attempt to get around overtime pay for employees by offering comp-time. Comp-time allows employees to use overtime hours towards PTO instead of receiving overtime pay. Unpaid overtime, in most circumstances, cannot be paid in comp-time.
3. Not paying overtime weekly. Many employers pay employees every two weeks or twice a month. An employee may work over 40 hours one week and under 40 hours in the second week of the pay period. Employers may decide to add the time between the two weeks and end up with only 80 hours worked.
This practice is illegal because it denies an employee the overtime earned for one week. Overtime must be calculated every week, no matter how often an employer runs payroll.
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How Is a Lawsuit Filed for Unpaid Overtime?
The Department of Labor manages unpaid overtime claims. Under the FLSA, you have two years to file a complaint in federal court for unpaid overtime. If you believe the violations were willful, the statute of limitations to file your claim is three years.
The Department of Labor (DOL) does not require you to file a DOL charge first. You do not need to obtain a Right to Sue letter or request a DOL investigation. You have the right to file your complaint directly in federal court.
What Remedies Are Available to Victims of Unpaid Overtime?
As a victim of unpaid overtime, you are entitled to relief from the court when you win your case. The courts may grant some of the following relief:
- Lost wages
- Attorney’s fees
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
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When you work, you are entitled to get paid. Anything less is a violation of the law.
If you are the victim of unpaid overtime, our wage and hour attorneys work tirelessly to hold businesses accountable for their FLSA violations. Contact us online or by calling us at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.