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Overtime/Wage and Hours Claims

Thrasher Worth attorneys handle a wide variety of overtime claims and wage disputes. Many employees have no idea that they are entitled to significant overtime pay. Employers often do not know or misinterpret the rules applicable to overtime pay, often believing paying an employee a salary will take care of its overtime requirements. Some employers intentionally try to avoid paying overtime by paying its employees a salary, rather than hourly. In such cases, the employees are still entitled to overtime pay if they are non-exempt.

The FLSA’s overtime provisions apply to employers whose gross income exceeds $500,000 per year. Unlike the discrimination laws and the Family and Medical Leave Act, the number of employees makes no difference in determining whether an employer is subject to the FLSA.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that “nonexempt” employees receive overtime pay equal to 1.5 x their regular hourly pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week (“overtime”). An employer may need to have its employees work overtime hours, but the employer must pay the employee overtime pay at the rate of time-and-a-half. Overtime that has not been paid can still be collected up to two (and sometimes three) years from the date the pay was earned. Judges can also award additional damages, called “liquidated damages” in an amount equal to the unpaid overtime. In addition, if the employee can show the employer’s decision to not pay overtime was “willful,” the employee may be entitled to include an extra year of overtime compensation. Willfulness is defined as the employer knowing their duty to pay an employer overtime and ignoring their obligation under Federal law.

Exempt v. Non-Exempt Employees. Most, but not all employees are covered by the FLSA’s overtime rules. The law differentiates between “exempt” employees (who are not covered by the law) and “non-exempt” employees (who are covered by the law). The most important issue in overtime law is whether or not the law applies to the type of work you do-NOT the title you are given by your employer.

  • There are three principal exemptions under the FLSA:
  • Executive
  • Administrative
  • Professional

In order for your employer to establish that your work falls under one of these exemptions, thereby disqualifying you from overtime, your employer must prove that you are paid on a salary basis in an amount not less than $455 per week and that your principal duties are executive, administrative, or professional in nature. To be covered by the FLSA, you must show that you are an employee and not an independent contractor.

There are strong anti-retaliation provisions built into the FLSA which prohibit the employer from retaliating against you for asking for overtime and/or fling an overtime claim. There are additional remedies available under these statutes such as attorneys fees if you prevail under the law in your claim. Thrasher Worth attorneys have a long history of aggressive and successful enforcement of overtime rights. In addition, our attorneys have had success defending these claims when they are frivolous in nature.