It seems like the number of lawsuits brought by employees who are being denied proper overtime pay goes up each year. The Department of Labor reports hundreds of thousands of cases of unpaid overtime. These violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act lead to countless overtime lawsuits. Workers are often forced to go to court to recover the wages they have earned working more than 40 hours per week. It is sad that so many employers are willing to cheat their workers out of overtime pay. At Costello & Mains, LLC, our overtime lawyers know how to help workers get the money they have coming to them.
Understanding Violations Of Overtime Pay Laws
Employers deny workers overtime wages in many ways and in many industries, but there are common themes to overtime lawsuits. Many of the workers we fight for have co-workers facing the same challenges. We help a wide range of employees get the overtime pay they deserve.
Restaurants, including fast-food restaurants, are well-known for violating workers' rights. Fast-food workers are among the most mistreated and neglected employees in the country. Because these restaurants are often operated as franchises, each restaurant is its own business and is responsible for violations of overtime laws.
Many of the schemes used by employers to avoid paying proper overtime apply to hotel workers. They may be refused pay for break times when no break was actually taken. They are often asked to work "off the clock." Most notably, many hotels try to define their employees as exempt from overtime rules. They play tricks with job titles to imply that work is supervisory, even though the realities of the job entitle them to overtime pay.
There is an exemption from overtime pay for workers whose jobs are administrative and who support the company's operations. Administrative assistants are often denied overtime pay under this exemption. The truth is that the exemption applies only to workers who are given the authority and autonomy to make important business decisions. Most administrative assistants are assigned duties that do not meet this requirement.
There are several ways in which retail workers are commonly denied proper overtime pay. In some cases, employers will attempt to classify a retail worker as a commissioned employee, making the worker exempt. That classification applies only if the worker makes at least half of his or her earnings through commissions. Retail workers must make more than 1.5 times the minimum wage to be considered exempt as commissioned employees. Retail workers are also denied overtime by being asked to work off the clock, generally by not including the time it takes to open or close or take care of nonsales duties such as filling out reports and cleaning.
Businesses often stretch the bounds of reality in their attempts to classify workers as exempt. Misclassifying a job can save an employer a substantial sum of money. Misclassified workers are frequently asked to work more than 40 hours a week, because those are "free" hours as far as the business is concerned. If you have been classified as exempt as a way to deny you the overtime pay you deserve, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Contact our law firm online or call us at 856-291-0642 to schedule a free case evaluation.