A Colorado unpaid overtime lawsuit may be an option for hourly and salaried employees, as well as specific contractors, who work beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. If an employee feels that they are not receiving the overtime pay they are due, a Colorado unpaid wages lawyer may be able to help them recover the compensation he or she deserves.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Colorado 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 Colorado unpaid overtime lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Overtime?
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), overtime is defined as “time actually worked beyond a prescribed threshold.” In other words, when certain employees work beyond the standard workweek of 40 hours, he or she is entitled to one and one-half their regular rate of pay. An employer can pay their employees on any basis they like, however, they must pay their employees the minimum based on federal overtime laws. In some cases, states may have their own labor laws concerning overtime that may extend beyond the federal rules.
Who is Eligible for Overtime Pay?
Based on federal overtime laws, all “nonexempt” employees who earn less than $455 per week ($23,600 per year) qualify to receive overtime pay.
There are many exemptions to the overtime regulations as defined by the FLSA. Exempt employees include people who work in executive, administrative, and professional positions as well as computer professionals and outside sales persons.
Other exemptions to the federal overtime rule include:
- Commissioned sales employees
- Drivers, driver’s helpers, loaders, and mechanics
- Farmworkers employed on small farms
- Seasonal and recreational employees
- Salesmen, partsmen, and mechanics employed by automobile dealerships
Overtime Final Rule and Injunction
On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule regarding overtime provisions set by the FLSA. Those new provisions were set to go into effect on December 1, 2016, and would have reportedly extended overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers in the United States.
According to the DOL, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Texas granted an Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction of the overtime rule on November 22, 2016. The injunction blocked the final rule from taking effect at the scheduled date, however, the Department of Justice filed a notice to appeal the injunction on December 1, 2016.
Do I Get Overtime If My Employer Calls Me an Independent Contractor?
Oftentimes, employers may improperly categorize their employees as independent contractors. The term “independent contractor” defines workers who are self-employed and not considered employees. Employees who are misclassified as independent contractors are often denied the benefits and protects that they are entitled. True independent contractors do not receive overtime pay, according to the FLSA. However, if a court determines that a misclassified independent contractor is actually and employee, the employee may be eligible for overtime pay.
Jobs commonly misclassified as independent contractors include:
- Call center workers
- Exotic dancers
- Truck drivers
- Tow truck drivers
- Port workers
- Package delivery workers and couriers
- Construction workers
Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
After an investigation in March 2014, 72 employees at a nursery in Fort Collins, Colorado were awarded over $125,000 in back wages and unpaid overtime for hours worked over a 40-hour workweek.
Unpaid overtime lawsuits are also currently being initiated 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.
Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing an Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit?
Legally, an employer cannot retaliate against a worker for pursuing unpaid overtime. If an employee is fired or an employer retaliates against an employee, the employee may be eligible to sue for reinstatement as well as unpaid overtime pay and back wages.
Retaliation is not limited to termination of employment. Retaliation of any kind is prohibited, including:
- Reduction of job hours or duties
- Submission of poor performance review that is unwarranted
- Termination of an employee’s relative
- Other types of objectively punitive behavior motivated by the unpaid overtime claim
How a Colorado 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 Colorado. 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.