Labor and employment law exists to address the legal rights and restrictions on working people and their organizations. A lawyer or a law firm who specializes in labor and employment law has expertise in the large body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents concerned with protecting the people in the work force.
Labor and employment law addresses the following:
• Your bargaining power as an employee
• Your eligibility for overtime compensation
• An equal relationship between you as an employee, the employer, and employee’s Union if applicable to resolve
• Employees’ rights at work
• Employees’ working contract with his/her employer for fairness
• The reduction of exploitation of workers by his/her employee
Labor rights are an integral part of social and economic development and have been around since the industrial revolution.
Case Examples of Labor and Employment Law in Action
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, referred to as “FLSA”, sets the national standard for minimum wage and overtime pay. Within this act, there are exemptions for certain types of workers, others are referred to as non-exempt.
With regard to individual worker rights protected by the FLSA concerning individual labor law, most salary based employees are exempt from receiving overtime pay for any hours worked over a 40 hour workweek. Generally, salary based occupations such as executives and professionals and certain commissioned sales employees are classified as exempt from being compensated for overtime, however there are exceptions. The FLSA has exemption status requirements that need to be proven in a court of law concerning lawsuits of this nature.
The following cases represent examples of disputes regarding overtime compensation due to unclear exemption status.
Case Example No. 1
In the case of Falla et. al. v. Xe Services LLC., filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, employees of Xe Services LLC. (formally known as the infamous Blackwater company), attest that Blackwater misled them into believing they were not entitled to any overtime pay, saying they were misclassified as exempt employees. The collective action suit represents the seemingly continuing stream of Fair Labor Standards Act class actions that have been pouring down on this particular company regarding labor and employment law.
The 30 workers involved in this lawsuit were instructors who provided military training for police and armed forces at a number of camps in the United States. They claim that time keepers were instructed by Blackwater to only log 8 hours of work a day into the company records, even though the WPPS and Navy instructors allegedly put in overtime. The complaint focuses on this alleged deficiency in that the inaccurate time records fail to reflect the instructors’ compensatable time, which in turn, hinders the ability to assess whether or not these workers were salary based. The plaintiffs will have to prove that that they were paid on an hourly basis in order to be non-exempt.
Case Example No. 2
Bank of America is being sued by current and former employees who are accusing B of A of failing “to pay overtime to retail branch and call center employees”, and are accusing the lender of violating either the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or state wage and hour laws which have precedent over FLSA. Bank of America, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, asked Federal Judge John W. Lungstrum to dismiss the case on the ground that the employees failed to prove they are entitled under federal law to the back overtime pay they seek. However, Lungstrum issued a ruling against the dismissal, forcing B of A to face employees’ overtime suit. Lungstrum’s denial for dismissal shows an existence of precedence held by the State over national laws set forth by the FLSA.
The point in citing both of these cases is to understand the role of labor and employment law in each example, as it is a vital component in the battle for justice between employee and employer. State wage and overtime laws are constantly fluctuating by new administrative rulings and precedents set in the court room, which is why it is so important to contact legal assistance from an overtime lawyer who has expertise in this field of law. Complete our Case Evaluation Form today and the experienced employement and overtime attorneys at the Lore Law Firm will consult with you on the merits of your case.