Unfortunately, it’s not at all uncommon for workers to be paid “straight time for overtime” these days. The problem presents itself in a wide array of industries, including: restaurants, oil and gas drilling, medical, CAD design, engineering, and disaster response and recovery.
The overwhelming majority of hourly workers who are being paid the same hourly rate for their overtime hours are being cheated out of their legally mandated overtime premium. This violation is almost always against overtime rules for hourly employees. Below are a few examples in which employees were illegally paid straight time for overtime.
- One recent violation in Mount Laurel, NJ saw a landscaper ordered to pay $75,199 in back wages to 37 laborers from Mexico and $13,500 in civil penalties after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Investigators said they found that the company violated the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when it failed to pay overtime. Instead of rightfully paying time and a half for overtime, the company paid workers at straight-time rates, in cash, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The employer also cut their wages below the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and failed to accurately record daily and weekly hours worked.
- Another case involved the Los Angeles-area restaurant chain Señor Fish. The chain recently agreed to a settle a FLSA lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Labor due to an investigation that revealed the business paid its employees “straight time” for all hours worked, even if they were on the clock for more than 40 hours per week. Señor Fish paid 74 current and former employees $56,777 in back wages and $33,154 in liquidated damages (penalties).
- Yet another case involved employees who were misclassified as independent contractors by their employer in order to avoid paying them overtime. Too often, misclassified employees are deprived of overtime and minimum wages, and they are forced to pay taxes that their employers are legally obligated to pay. The U.S. Labor Department and private overtime claim lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that employees receive the pay and benefits to which they are legally entitled.
If you think that your employer is violating overtime rules and you find yourself being illegally paid straight time for overtime, it’s important to contact our lawyers who are experienced in overtime pay laws to get the money you deserve.