Unpaid Overtime and FLSA Misclassification Claims
Overtime pay can be a substantial boost to hourly employees who often rely on the additional compensation to pay for life’s basic needs. However, it is not uncommon for hourly employees to be denied overtime pay, which can be devastating to employees who have put in more than forty (40) hours in one work week. Many employees who are denied overtime pay may not know what steps to take to fight for their rights and assert that their employers are obligated to pay overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Additionally, many employees are misclassified as “exempt” when they should be classified as “non-exempt.” Employers may misclassify an employee in an effort to avoid paying overtime or may do so mistakenly because they simply do not understand wage and hour laws.
At The Vaughn Law Firm, our highly skilled Employment Law Attorneys spend a significant portion of their time helping employees who have worked long and strenuous hours for which they have not been paid. It is important that all eligible hourly employees are aware of their rights and know they have legal options available that they can discuss with an attorney.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Overtime Pay
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs overtime pay and the classification for what employees are entitled to overtime pay, and what employees are exempt, and therefore, not eligible for overtime pay. Under the FLSA, employers must pay hourly employees overtime if such non-exempt employees work more than forty (40) hours in one work week. Overtime pay must be no less than time and one-half of an employee’s regular weekly pay.
What is Employee Misclassification?
Employees who are exempt from overtime pay are those who are salaried and are considered professionals, executives, supervisors, or managers. However, many hourly employees who are not considered professionals, executives, supervisors or managers are often misclassified as “exempt” employees and are therefore ineligible for overtime pay. Some employers mistakenly misclassify an employee while others may do so intentionally. Unfortunately, many employers fail to inform their employees about the FLSA and why some employees are eligible for overtime pay and others are not.
If an hourly employee who is not a professional, executive, supervisor or manager does not receive overtime pay even if he or she worked more than forty (40) hours in one work week, that employee may have grounds to seek compensation as allowed by the FLSA. Such compensation is called “liquidated damages,” and the amount of such compensation may be double of what an employer owes the employee in overtime pay.
Employee misclassification, whether intentional or not on the part of the employer, is extremely common and negatively affects hard-working employees every day across the United States. As such, employees who feel they have been wrongfully denied overtime pay (or have been paid less than the required time and one-half) should act quickly to speak with an attorney who can help determine if an employer has violated the FLSA. If an employer has violated the FLSA, this employer may be liable for paying an employee additional compensation in the form of liquidated damages.
Fighting for Overtime Pay Without the Help of an Attorney
Many employees who have a close relationship with their employers may be able to resolve an overtime dispute without the assistance of an attorney. If an employer has mistakenly failed to pay overtime or has mistakenly misclassified an employee and recognizes the error, that employer has an opportunity to correct the issue right away. However, if an employee does not have a close relationship with his/her employer or feels that a discussion of overtime pay will be contentious, discussing the matter with an attorney is a good idea to ensure the employer complies with all overtime laws and regulations.
Contact the Vaughn Law Firm Today to Schedule Your Consultation
If you have been unlawfully denied overtime pay or have been misclassified as an exempt employee, you should consider discussing your situation an Employment Law Attorney right away. With offices in Washington, D.C. and Decatur, Georgia, the Employment Law Attorneys of the Vaughn Law Firm have extensive experience handling complex employment law matters, including, among others, issues involving unpaid overtime and employee misclassification. To learn whether there are legal options available for your situation, contact the Vaughn Law Firm today by calling toll-free at (877) 615-9495 to schedule your consultation to speak with one of our Employment Law Attorneys.