Unpaid Overtime: What Type of Plaintiff Are You?

With the continued increase in unpaid overtime lawsuits in almost every industry, employees may find it useful to consider the various types of plaintiffs simply to get an idea of where their own workplace situation lies.

What Type of Plaintiff Are You?

1. Do you find yourself a slave to your handheld device? When you leave work, do you continue to answer questions, delve through documents and conduct brainstorming sessions? Do you often find yourself in arguments with your significant other because they simply want you to attend a family function, complete a household chore or actively involve yourself in a conversation from beginning to end without being interrupted by someone at work that needs you? If so, you could be a “worker with a handheld device” plaintiff. You go to work and you come home, but you never seem to be off the clock. You answer calls, check emails, and basically continue working into the night. Many would classify all this “after hour” work as unpaid overtime.

2. Does your job require a lot of in-office prep in order to go “on the clock?” Do you have to arrive early in order to complete a series of log ins, paper pushing, or mandatory meetings before you can actually “go to work?” If so, you might be an “off the clock work in the office” plaintiff. Many are asking the question (in court) whether or not they should be able to clock in when they get to work to prepare to work or if they are donating the time it takes to perform necessary functions prior to starting the job duties employers are willing to pay for.

3. Do you enjoy the use of a fancy title without the fancy job duties? Many employers have turned to the non-promotion promotion as a solution to overtime. “Promoting” employees without actually giving them managerial responsibilities is a game plan used by employers looking to keep labor costs down. Many managerial positions are exempt from overtime pay laws and requirements. If you found yourself impressed with an empty title at first, don’t feel bad, you aren’t the only one and you could be a “fancy title” plaintiff.

If you have more questions now that you understand the basics behind many of the employment law related suits you’ve been reading about in the news, get in touch with the attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik today and get the right answers. 

When Should Employees Get Overtime Pay?

Federal law regulates overtime pay requirements. According to federal law, employees who work more than 40 hours in one week should receive one and a half times their normal pay rate for the “overtime” hours. As is often the case, there are exceptions to this law, but it’s important for employees to question their situation due to the fact that employers often misunderstand the rules or misapply them in specific circumstances – most often at the employee’s expense.

If you are an employee that works more than 40 hours and week without overtime pay, your employer could be in violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act. If an employer is in violation of this law, you could be entitled to the amount owed to you as well as additional funds to cover liquidated damages and attorney’s fees.

Define Your Employee Classification and Job Duties:

There are two categories of employees: exempt and nonexempt. The Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) doesn’t cover exempt employees. Federal law does not require employers to provide exempt employees with overtime pay. Exempt employees are often in managerial positions. They can receive pay on a salary basis or as an hourly wage. They have independence in their job duties and authority over their own work. Exempt employees are involved with creating/applying workplace policies and have some responsibility for making decisions within the company framework.

It’s important to consider exempt status because employers will often categorize employees as exempt inaccurately. For example, an employer could provide an employee with the title of Assistant Manager, but fail to provide the employee with any authority or responsibility for other employees. Another example is when employers categorize an employee as an independent contractor, but their day-to-day job duties more closely resemble those of a normal employee.

If you are an employee who does not receive overtime pay it’s important to define your status: exempt or non-exempt. This will determine whether or not your situation is governed by the FLSA. If you are misclassified as exempt, you can fight to get the compensation to which you are entitled by federal law.

Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standard Act aren’t permitted to exchange personal days or other extra benefits for overtime pay. Employers are also not allowed to have mandatory meetings that occur when employees are officially “off.” As an employee, you are entitled to the pay you have earned. When you put in extra hours, you are entitled to extra pay. If your employer doesn’t pay you overtime (to which you are legally entitled through the Fair Labor Standard Act), contacting an expert in unpaid overtime is the most appropriate step towards resolution.

Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik helps you enforce your overtime rights. If your employer is knowingly and willingly refusing to pay you earned overtime pay, you are entitled to the amount owed. Call today to discuss your employment situation and see how you can get paid past due overtime wages.