Regardless of which industry you work in, there’s a chance your employer will fail to pay you the overtime wages that the law entitles you to be paid. Such was the case recently for 599 home healthcare workers in Texas and Louisiana. Cases like these are why workers turn to The Lore Law Firm. If you haven’t been paid overtime according to what the law requires, we can help.
What the Texas and Louisiana employers did wrong
$1.2 million in overtime back pay was recovered from three employers in Texas and one in Louisiana. 599 home health care workers were not paid according to what is required by the FLSA. In Texas alone, 400 workers were underpaid to the tune of $841,000. Included in the home healthcare industry are home-care aides, nursing aides, and licensed practical nurses.
According to a wage and hour investigator for the Department of Labor, many employers do not intentionally underpay their workers. That doesn’t excuse them from violating the law, however. Employers are expected to understand and abide by their legal duties, particularly those that concern wages.
The basics of overtime pay
Unless an employee is exempt under the FLSA (exemptions are strictly defined and limited), that individual is entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 during a work week. Overtime pay is also known as time and a half because the worker must be paid 1.5 times his or her regular hourly rate. Even non-hourly workers, such as those who are paid a day-rate, or even a salary, can in some cases be owed overtime.
Employers may not know their obligations under the law to pay their employees overtime. But in other cases, they are fully aware of the applicable federal and state overtime law and devise clever ways to try to get around them. One way is to misclassify an employee as an independent contractor, who is generally not required to be paid overtime. Another is to average hours across two or more weeks to result in 40 hours or less.
Certain industries are more prone to overtime abuses than others. Healthcare is one of them. Other industries include restaurant, retail, construction, and banking. Sometimes the Department of Labor will investigate workers in a certain industry because it is known to violate overtime and other wage-related laws. In other cases, investigations (typically followed by lawsuits) are prompted by complaints to private law firms by workers who are familiar with a particular employer’s abuses.
How The Lore Law Firm Can Serve You
The Lore Law Firm has a nationwide network of attorneys who go to work standing up for workers and their overtime, minimum wage, and other rights. If your employer is failing to pay you the wages that you’ve earned, or you suspect this is the case, reach out to us. Fill out our free and confidential client intake form so we can review your situation today.