A Massachusetts 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, a Massachusetts unpaid wages lawyer may be able to help them recover the compensation he or she deserves.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts unpaid overtime lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Overtime?
Overtime is the amount of time someone works in addition to standard working hours. In the United States, a normal workweek is 40 hours within a continuous seven-day period. Employees who are eligible for overtime are entitled to “time and a half,” or one and one-half their regular rate of pay when they work in excess of 40 hours in any given workweek.
Who is Eligible for Overtime Compensation?
“Nonexempt” employees are eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a set of federal regulations that guarantees a minimum wage and overtime compensation for hours worked beyond the normal workweek. Nonexempt employees include hourly and salaried workers who make less than $455 per week, or $23,600 per year.
Exemptions to the overtime regulations include the following occupations:
- Executive, administrative and professional employees
- Computer professionals
- Outside sales employees
- Drivers, driver’s helpers and mechanics
- Seasonal and recreational employees
Under new federal guidelines beginning on December 1, 2016, over 4.2 million workers, including 84,000 in Massachusetts, will benefit from an increase in the salary threshold to include workers who make less than $913 per week, or $47,476 per year.
Do I Get Overtime Pay If My Employer Calls Me an Independent Contractor?
Independent contractors are people or entities who work for themselves and do not qualify for overtime provisions outlined in the FLSA. An employer cannot call someone an independent contractor because they want to avoid paying overtime and other key provisions defined by the law. If a court finds that an employer has been misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor, the employee may be able to file and unpaid overtime lawsuit and pursue compensation for lost overtime wages.
Common occupations often misclassified as independent contractors include construction workers, stagehands, truck drivers, tow truck drivers, exotic dancers, and couriers and package delivery drivers.
Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit Claims
Each year investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) find violations of the overtime provisions of the FLSA and dozens of unpaid overtime lawsuits are filed throughout the U.S. In many cases, workers are misclassified as independent contractors, and employees are denied their rights to overtime pay and other essential benefits and protections.
In July 2016, an investigation conducted by the WHD found that a manufacturing plant in Massachusetts underpaid their employees over a three-year period by denying them the overtime pay they were entitled. As a result of the investigation, 566 workers employed in Massachusetts and Mississippi will receive over $1.4 million in back wages and liquidated damages as part of a judgment and order obtained in federal court.
What Are My Options When I’m Not Paid Overtime That I’m Owed?
Workers who have been unlawfully denied overtime pay may be eligible to file a Massachusetts unpaid overtime lawsuit with the help of an unpaid wages lawyer in addition to being able to file 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 a Massachusetts 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.
The Time You Have to File a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Massachusetts. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
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.