The Georgia Department of Corrections paid out $429,005 in back wages to 1,257 correction officers after the federal government uncovered overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at more than forty corrections facilities across the state. The federal government found that the state Department of Corrections failed to pay employees who attended meetings and trainings for their time attending those activities in addition to failing to pay employees who worked overtime past their assigned shifts to ensure coverage at the corrections facilities when their co-workers were running late. Both situations resulted in more than twelve hundred corrections officers collecting overtime wages that were unpaid.
In addition, the investigation found that the Department of Corrections failed to pay overtime for corrections officers that worked in excess of twelve hours of overtime per pay period and that overtime was only paid out twice per year. If a corrections officer accrued overtime but left before the bi-annual payout, that money was never paid for their time.
The Fair Labor Standards Act governs the payment of overtime to employees nationwide and requires that employees be paid for hours worked beyond the typical forty hour work week. Some employers deliberately deny overtime pay to their workers or intentionally misclassify them to avoid paying overtime, while other times an employee may be mistakenly misclassified and owed overtime back pay for the additional time they have worked. It can be difficult as an employee to know what steps to take if you believe that you are owed overtime from your employer.
It is important to note that certain types of employees are exempt from overtime pay under the FLSA. Executives, supervisors, managers, and professionals that are salaried are exempt from being paid for overtime. Depending on the job responsibilities of a certain worker, they may also be exempt from overtime laws despite not having an official title that falls under the exemption rules.
Compensation for Unpaid Overtime
Compensation for unpaid overtime goes beyond simple back pay for the time worked. Employers are required to pay liquidated damages to employees owed unpaid overtime, which may be as much as double the initial amount of overtime wages owed. This is because an employer owes the employee the back pay amount of overtime, plus interest on those wages at a rate set by state law. If it is proven that the employer failed to pay overtime in bad faith, liquidated damages may include an extra penalty that is double the amount of unpaid overtime owed. In addition, most states award attorneys’ fees to the employees who prove an unpaid overtime case, so as not to take away any of the money owed to employees to pay their attorneys for the work done on their case.
Contact Our Office Today
If your employer has not paid you the overtime wages you deserve, our employment law attorneys are standing by to help you with your case. Call the office or contact us today at The Vaughn Law Firm in Washington D.C. or Decatur, Georgia to schedule a free consultation of your unpaid overtime case.