Dealing With Employers Who Cheat Workers Out Of Overtime Pay
Employers have shown amazing creativity and innovation in their efforts to avoid paying workers lawful wages. Cheating workers out of overtime pay is one way businesses can pad their profits. Employers who willfully or repeatedly fail to pay proper overtime can be fined up to $1,000 each time they do it. The penalties do not seem to be enough of a deterrent, however, because countless employees are still not compensated for the overtime hours they work.
Some companies make a habit of cheating workers out of overtime wages. In many cases, a large group of employees are subjected to the same illegal practices. Class action lawsuits are often used to group together employees who were cheated in the same ways. Overtime violations are common among restaurant and hotel workers, as well as others whose hours can easily be extended based on customer behavior.
Amazon is a recent example of an employer facing numerous complaints. The Amazon lawsuits concern workers being required to go through burdensome anti-theft security procedures and not being paid for their time. The procedures are mandatory, but Amazon is attempting to avoid paying workers for the time they are kept on site after their shifts.
Subway is another employer facing numerous claims for unpaid wages and unpaid overtime. Like many fast-food chains, Subway operates on a franchise basis. That means each Subway is its own small business. That provides an atmosphere where many workers can have their rights violated without the Department of Labor being able to fine the corporate office for all the violations taken together. It protects them from being found a repeat violator despite being tied to more than 17,000 violations of wage and hour laws since 2000.
Attempts To Skirt The Law
While every situation is unique, some overtime violations are well-known. Employers may routinely fail to provide employees with break time, but still deduct break time from the hours an employee worked. Some employers exclude common tasks, like cleaning up or closing down a work area, from hours they pay workers. Some employees are asked to sign agreements, waiving their rights to overtime pay. Such agreements are illegal and have no impact on whether the employee should actually be paid time and half. Employers have invented fictional workers to account for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Some schemes are complicated while others are as simple as asking employees to do tasks off the clock.
If your employer is cheating you out of overtime pay, you need an experienced employment law attorney on your side. At Costello & Mains, LLC, our skilled lawyers have handled countless trials to protect workers' rights. We can help you collect the wages you deserve, including unpaid overtime. Call us at 856-291-0642 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.