The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that governs the payment of the minimum wage and overtime pay. Some employers try to cut costs, attempting to narrowly interpret overtime pay law. This can be very dangerous for employers.
The penalties for violating an employee’s rights to overtime, even if by accident, are tough. If an employee regularly works more than 40 hours per week and does not get overtime pay, they may be owed thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime plus penalties.
All employees are entitled to overtime pay equal to at least 1.5 times their regular rate for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek, unless specifically exempted from this law. This includes most salaried employees and independent contractors.
The following employees can be exempt from overtime law:
There are specific classifications set by the Department of Labor that must be met before an employee can be exempt from overtime. This means that, for example, if an salaried employee earns the $684 minimum, they may still be entitled to overtime if they do not meet the other requirements.
An employee who brings a successful overtime pay lawsuit can recover his/her unpaid wages and liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are defined by the FLSA as being double the unpaid wages due to the employee.
Thus, if awarded $5,000 in unpaid overtime wages, the employee may be entitled to get an additional $5,000 as liquidated damages, bringing the total recovery to $10,000. These damages essentially are awarded instead of lost interest.
If the employee wins the case, the FLSA also requires the employer to reimburse for out-of-pocket litigation expenses and pay an additional attorneys’ fee award.
Our Houston wage and hour overtime pay attorneys have successfully litigated these cases in court and with the United States Department of Labor. We’ve represented both employees and employers and have handled numerous investigations as well as wage and hour audits.
For more information about how we may be able to support your claim, ask about scheduling a free consultation when you contact Peckham Martin PLLC online.
– Tom K.
Whether you are an individual or a lawyer in need of legal representation, we are here to help you with your case throughout the Southwest and beyond.