An FLSA lawsuit may be an option for hourly and salaried employees, as well as certain contractors, who work over 40 hours a week. The 40-hour work week is standard in the United States for most workers who are employed full time. In general, any hours that exceed this standard are considered overtime and must legally be compensated at a higher rate than the employee normally receives. Federal laws are in place to provide protection against being denied overtime pay and it also protects underpaid workers from retaliation if they pursue a claim. An unpaid overtime lawsuit may be an option for an employee to recover the compensation he or she deserves.
For more information, contact Attorney Group 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 FLSA lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What Is the FLSA?
The Congressional Research Service defines the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) as a set of safeguards intended to bolster economic growth while also preventing American workers from being misused by employers. These statutes encompass a wide range of employment law, from regulations aimed at keeping children from being engaged in the labor force to laws stipulating appropriate wages for tipped workers.
What is known as the FLSA began in 1937 with legislation that created the New Deal. These were economic initiatives enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the turmoil caused by the Great Depression. During this time, many employers offered inadequate wage rates in order to retain their place within their respective industries. A great portion of workers at the time suffered from the ill-effects of poverty, which led the government to create a federal minimum wage, and eventually pass legislation governing overtime pay.
What Is Considered Overtime?
Employees who work in excess of 40 hours over the course of one workweek must be paid overtime, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). No matter the usual rate of pay normally provided, overtime pay must equal 1.5 times this regular rate as long as the worker is not considered exempt from applicable overtime laws.
Unless an employee exceeds 40 hours on these days, simply working weekend and holiday shifts does not entail an overtime payout. In this case, overtime pay must be afforded. For workers 16 or older, there are no limitations applied to the total hours that can be accrued in one workweek.
Are There Any Exemptions?
There are quite a few exceptions to overtime regulations. The DOL lists a number of exempted workers, which include those employed in a farming capacity at smaller agricultural enterprises. These workers are also exempt from existing minimum wage laws, as well as child labor laws stipulating the number of hours a minor can work. However, minors must be working with the permission of their parents.
Additional positions exempt from overtime regulations include:
- Live-in domestic workers
- Cab drivers
- Airline workers
- Rural elevator workers
Salaried executives and administrative professionals are also commonly exempt from prevailing overtime regulations, as are computer technicians if their hourly rate is $27.63 or higher.
New Legislation Affects Overtime Eligibility
As stated above, salaried workers are typically considered exempt from overtime laws. However, recent changes to federal law has resulted in many more workers being deemed entitled to overtime pay. As reported by The New York Times, overtime payouts must be provided to the majority of salaried employees making $47,476 or less on an annual basis.
Initial estimates suggest that overtime eligibility will be afforded to as many as 4.2 million workers once these new rules go into effect. Duties tests will be applied to determine whether a salaried worker is indeed eligible under the new legislation. The purpose of the change was to help workers in the middle class receive a fair pay for their labors.
Why an FLSA Lawsuit Might Be Necessary
While many workers are heartened by new regulations, others are struggling to hold their employers accountable for a failure to provide adequate overtime compensation. According to USA Today, a record number of workers have filed lawsuits stating they were not paid accordingly for hours worked. Changes in the workplace, including the continual connectivity made possible by mobile devices, mean that workers are spending more time on job duties but lacking the appropriate wage. In other cases, employees have claimed that they were misclassified as exempt employees so that their employers did not have to pay them overtime.
How a FLSA Lawsuit Attorney 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. 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.