An Arkansas unpaid overtime lawsuit may be an option for hourly and salaried employees, as well as certain contractors, who work over 40 hours per week. If an employee feels that they are not receiving the overtime pay they are due, an Arkansas unpaid wages lawyer may be able to help them recover the compensation he or she deserves.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated Arkansas unpaid overtime lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Overtime?
According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), federal overtime pay provisions cover employees who have worked over 40 hours per workweek at a rate no less than one and one-half their regular rate of pay. This same provision applies to the state of Arkansas. Defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), overtime provisions prevent employers from working their employees beyond a reasonable amount of hours.
Who is Eligible for Overtime Pay?
Not all employees are eligible for overtime pay. The FLSA requires that most employers in the United States pay all “nonexempt” employees the minimum overtime rate at time and a half. Nonexempt employees are entitled to the federal minimum wage and include hourly and salaried workers who make less than $455 per week.
Common exemptions from the DOL overtime pay provisions include:
- Executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales workers
- Commissioned salaried employees of retail or service establishments
- Computer professionals
- Drivers, driver’s helpers, loaders, and mechanics
- Salesmen, partsmen, and mechanics employed by car dealerships
- Seasonal and recreational establishments
On May 18, 2016, the DOL announced an update to the salary and compensation levels to $913 per workweek. The final rule was set to take effect beginning on December 1, 2016, however, on November 22, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction of the rule. In response to the injunction, the Department of Justice filed a notice to appeal the preliminary injunction on behalf of the DOL.
Do I Get Overtime If My Employer Calls Me an Independent Contractor?
In some instances, many employees are misclassified as “independent contractors” by their employer. Independent contractors are not considered employees and are not entitled to the same benefits as regular hourly and salaried employees. Some employers may try to avoid government regulation by calling certain employees “independent contractors.” If an employee is able to prove that they are indeed an employee, they could be entitled to overtime pay.
Common jobs misclassified as independent contractors include:
- Tow truck drivers
- Truck drivers
- Call center workers
- Construction workers
- Port workers
- Exotic dancers
- Couriers and package delivery workers
Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
According to a DOL news release issued in 2013, a local Police Department was forced to pay over $150,000 in unpaid overtime back wages and liquidated damages to 24 uniformed officers. Following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division’s Jonesboro Field Office, investigators determined that the Police Department failed to pay employees for all hours worked, proper overtime pay to officers who worked beyond 86 hours in a two-week work period, and maintain records as required by the FLSA.
Unpaid overtime lawsuits are also currently being filed against ride-share companies such as Uber. According to a motion filed with the Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation in December 2015, at least five related actions have been filed in five federal district courts against the company. These actions make similar claims regarding Uber’s misclassification of drivers, failure to pay gratuities, and violation of other state labor and common laws.
What Are My Options When I’m Not Paid Overtime That I’m Owed?
Workers who have been unlawfully denied overtime pay may file an Arkansas unpaid overtime lawsuit with the help of an unpaid wages lawyer in addition to being able to pursue a claim through the DOL. In those cases, the employee can seek compensation for back wages not paid by the employer and liquidated damages in an amount equal to the unpaid back wages.
How an Arkansas Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit Can Help
Federal law, and many state laws, require employers to pay employees for overtime at a rate of not less than 1.5 times their regular rate of pay. These same laws protect underpaid workers from retaliation if they pursue a claim, and an unpaid wages lawyer can help an employee recover the compensation he or she deserves.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas. After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.