A Washington 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 do not receive overtime pay. Federal law states that employers must pay at least one and one-half times the regular rate of pay in overtime pay to eligible employees. A Washington unpaid wages lawyer may be able to help an employee recover the compensation he or she deserves.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Washington 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 Washington unpaid overtime lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Overtime?
Overtime is time worked in addition to normal working hours. Overtime laws are typically determined nationally, and in the United States, eligible employees who work more than 40 hours during a workweek are entitled to overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half their regular rate of pay.
Who is Eligible for Overtime Pay?
Not all employees are eligible for overtime pay. “Nonexempt” employees are eligible to receive overtime benefits under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law that provides a number of employee benefits and protections such as minimum wage and overtime compensation. “Exempt” employees are not eligible to receive benefits. Salary level and job duties determine whether an employee is exempt or not.
The following occupations are exempt from receiving overtime pay:
- Executive, administrative, and professional employees
- Computer professionals such as software engineers and programmers
- Outside sales employees
- Highly-compensated employees who make over $100,000 per year
In addition to hourly employees, salaried employees may also be eligible to receive overtime benefits. If a salaried employee makes less than the weekly salary threshold ($455 per week or $23,600 per year) and does not perform the duties of an exempt employee, an employer must abide by the overtime provisions defined by the FLSA.
If My Employer Calls Me an Independent Contractor, Do I Get Overtime?
Independent contractors are people or entities who work for themselves and are not considered employees. Under federal law, independent contractors are not eligible to receive overtime benefits, however, some employers may try to mislabel an employee or group of employees as independent contractors to avoid providing employee benefits, including overtime compensation. Misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor is illegal, and if a court decides that an employee has been misclassified, the employee may be eligible to pursue compensation for unpaid overtime pay and back wages.
Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
In 2013, investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division found that Washington state blueberry growers violated the rights of their workers by not paying the minimum wage and overtime pay over the period of three growing seasons. As a result of the DOL’s investigation, the growers were required to pay over $385,000 in unpaid overtime wages and liquidated damages to pickers and packing shed workers.
What Are My Options When I’m Not Paid Overtime That I’m Owed?
Employees who have not received the overtime pay they deserve may be qualified to file a Washington unpaid overtime lawsuit in addition to filing a claim through the DOL. If an employee is considered eligible, they may be able to pursue compensation for unpaid overtime and liquidated damages in an amount equal to the unpaid back wages. In some instances, the employer may be ordered to pay the employee’s legal fees for bringing action to recover lost wages.
Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing an Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit?
The FLSA also protects employees who file suit from employer retaliation. If an employee believes that they have been terminated or retaliated against by their employer for filing an unpaid wages claim, they may be eligible to take legal action for reinstatement in addition to unpaid overtime wages.
How a Washington 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 Attorney Group for Washington. 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.