Class action lawsuits alleging wage and hour violations have risen dramatically in recent years, with the most common types of wage theft being unpaid overtime and/or unpaid wages. As employers look to squeeze more out of employees while cutting costs simultaneously, many workers are forced to work off the clock without overtime pay or are misclassified as exempt from overtime pay. Here, we take a look at three common wage an hour violation frequently committed by employers as forms of wage theft.
Under the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA), in addition to paying no less than minimum wage, employers must also pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek unless they meet certain exemptions.
Moreover, under the FLSA employees must be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a given workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay.
An employee who has been denied pay for all hours worked or who was not paid overtime, may bring a civil action against his employer for violating the FLSA. An employee may seek two years of back pay, or three years if the violation was willful.
Employees may also contact the local Wage and Hour Division office for assistance in filing a complaint.
Employee misclassification occurs when non-exempt workers are treated as exempt for the purpose of denying the employee overtime pay, meal breaks and rest breaks. In order to be exempt, you must be paid a salary. If your employer pays by-the-hour and even if you earn more than the minimum salary requirements, you are not exempt, and entitled to overtime pay, meal breaks and rest breaks.
To be an exempt employee, you must perform certain job duties that statutorily defines exempt workers. People with certain job duties are exempt from overtime pay: administrative, professional, executive, computer employees, outside sales and independent contractors.
The following are professions where misclassification is common:
If you believe you have been the victim of employee misclassification you can file federal reports through with U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), agency who is responsible for enforcing proper classification of workers. While this might result in your re-classification, you will lot receive any money for lost overtime.
You can file a lawsuit and, if timely filed, recover two years’ worth of unpaid back time and three if you can show the improper classification. If you have been improperly denied overtime, contact an Unpaid Overtime Lawyer about an employee misclassification lawsuit.
Off the Clock Overtime
Another common type of employer wage theft is referred to as off the clock work. Working off the clock means you are performing work when your employer is not recording or crediting this work. As a result, employees end up not getting paid for all the hours they worked, plus unpaid overtime.
Common examples of off the clock work violations include, unpaid pre-shift and post-shift work such as:
Because off-the-clock work violates the FLSA, employees forced to work off the clock, can file a complaint with the Department of Labor may be able to recover up to three years of back wages for unpaid hours or unpaid overtime. Employees are allowed to recover liquidated damages which is an amount equal to what they are owed.
How Can an Unpaid Overtime Lawyer Help You?
Millions of dollars in unpaid wages have been awarded to employees through class action settlements with employers.
If you were forced to work off the clock or without overtime pay compensation within the past 3 years, you have rights under the FLSA. Give us a call today at 855/846-6529 or fill out the form here and see what an Unpaid Overtime Lawyer can do for you.
Timothy L. Miles, Esq.
Timothy L. Miles is a nationally recognized shareholder rights attorney raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Miles was recentely selected by Martindale-Hubbell® and ALM as a 2022 Top Ranked Lawyer, 2022 Top Rated Litigator. and a 2022 Elite Lawyer of the South. Mr. Miles also maintains the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, their highest rating for both legal ability and ethics. Mr. Miles is a member of the prestigious Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers: The National Trial Lawyers Association, a superb rated attorney by Avvo, a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by Premier Lawyers of America (2019) and recognized as a Distinguished Lawyer, Recognizing Excellence in Securities Law, by Lawyers of Distinction (2019). Mr. Miles has published over sixty articles on various issues of the law, including class actions, whistleblower cases, products liability, and more.
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