A North Carolina unpaid overtime lawsuit may be an option for hourly and salaried employees, as well as certain contractors, who work over 40 hours per week and are not paid the overtime compensation they are entitled. A North Carolina unpaid wages attorney may be able to help an employee recover the compensation he or she deserves.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for North Carolina 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 North Carolina unpaid overtime lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Overtime?
Overtime is essentially time worked beyond regular working hours, and overtime standards often differ from country to country. In the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that all eligible employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek at a rate of one and one-half the regular rate of pay.
Who is Eligible for Overtime Pay?
The FLSA covers most employees in the United States. Employees covered are either considered “nonexempt” or “exempt.” Employees are nonexempt if they earn less than $455 per week ($23,600 per year).
There are many exemptions to the FLSA overtime provisions. “White-collar” occupations such as executive, administrative, and professional employees; computer professionals; and other workers who perform managerial duties are generally exempt from the overtime rules. For a comprehensive list of exempt employees, including other types of occupations, the U.S. Department of Labor website has additional information.
If My Employer Calls Me an Independent Contractor, Do I Get Overtime?
Independent contractors are people or entities who are in business for themselves and do not qualify for overtime benefits as outlined in the FLSA. Just because an employer says someone is an independent contractor does not mean that they are. Sometimes an employer will misclassify an employee as an independent contractor, denying those employees the overtime benefits and protections they deserve. If a court finds that an employee has been misclassified as an independent contractor, they may be able to file an unpaid overtime lawsuit and recover lost wages.
Common misclassified jobs include:
- Tow truck drivers
- Truck drivers
- Couriers or package delivery workers
- Exotic dancers
- Call center workers
- Port workers
- Construction workers
Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
According to a news release issued in September 2015, investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division discovered that a North Carolina restaurant violated the overtime and minimum wage provisions of the FLSA. As a result, the restaurant agreed to pay over $102,000 in unpaid overtime wages to 23 employees.
In addition to the original investigation, the DOL Wage and Hour Division found that the employer had requested that one of its employees return their back wages, and when the employee refused, they were fired. The terminated employee was awarded $738 in lost wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for the period of time the terminated employee was unemployed as a result of the second investigation.
What Are My Options When I’m Not Paid Overtime That I’m Owed?
If an employee feels that they are not being paid the overtime they deserve, the employee may file a North Carolina unpaid overtime lawsuit and seek compensation for back wages not paid by the employer and liquidated damages in an amount equal to the unpaid back wages. Likewise, an employer cannot legally retaliate against an employee for pursuing unpaid overtime. If an employee is fired for filing a claim, they may be eligible to sue for reinstatement and other damages. In some cases, the employer may also be required to pay the employee’s attorney fees for bringing action to recoup lost wages.
How a North Carolina 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 Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for North Carolina. 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.