When is it time to contact an overtime attorney?
Consulting an overtime attorney is sometimes necessary because all too often we need our jobs to provide for a family, a sick relative, or some other necessity making us vulnerable to an employer who unfairly withholds validly earned wages and overtime pay. Many times it is inadvertent, though it is sometimes done knowingly and willfully. A company with large numbers of employees can illicitly withhold small percentages on the dollar from each employee and reap thousands of dollars in savings at the expense of the employees. Good overtime lawyers are knowledgeable in both Federal and state overtime laws.
The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted to protect the more vulnerable low wage hourly earners from just such a circumstance. If you think that your employer has been unlawfully withholding your overtime pay, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced overtime attorney like Michael D. Lore. Once you provide him with the particulars of your situation, he will be able to help you decide whether or not you have a valid case worth pursuing.
Overtime lawsuits regarding overtime pay are more prevalent today than ever before for reasons:
* The bad economy is causing everyone to look at how much money they are making or paying out—employers and employees alike.
* Employers are trying to stay in the black any way they can—sometimes at the expense of their employees.
* FLSA overtime rules are as complicated as the United States economy and market place are and lawsuits help to define all the possible wage and overtime situations
* Overtime law suits have become more publicized causing more people to file for previously unknown but now common overtime problems.
Economic downturns always make people more aware of every penny coming in and going out, and this is particularly true for the low paid hourly and salaried employees most often misclassified as exempt employees as well as for employers in bad economic times. Many either purposefully misclassify employees as “exempt” from overtime pay when they are actually eligible for overtime pay as a means of trying to keep the company afloat until better times, or they simply misunderstand the complex Federal FLSA and state wage and hour laws.
An overtime attorney often finds that one of the most common exemption misclassification occurs when an employee is promoted to assistant manager who receives a salary that is less than $455* a week (Update: $684 as of 1/1/2020). These classifications are comprehensively defined under the FairPay Overtime Rules. If the employee earns less than that amount or fails any of the following tests, he or she may still be eligible to receive overtime payments:
1. Duties are primarily managerial of the company or a recognized department of the business
2. Duties include managing 2 or more other full-time employees
3. Have the authority to hire or fire employees or make suggestions about hiring and firing, advancing, promoting, or otherwise changing the employment status of other employees
Employers are legally responsible for making sure all hourly or non-exempt workers are paid the overtime premium of 1.5 times the standard rate of pay for the work they do outside of a “normal” forty hour workweek.
* The Department of Labor under the Obama Administration increased this salary amount to $913 per week effective 12/1/2016; however, this increase was blocked by a court ruling. The Trump Administration has instead only increased the minimum salary to $684 per week, effective 1/1/2020. The prior salary limit was $455/week. Please see this page for the latest updates.
If you are unsure of whether or not you have had overtime pay unfairly withheld, fill out our Case Evaluation Form as completely as you can before submitting it to us. One of our overtime attorneys will then contact you and help you evaluate your case. Don’t delay—there are time limitations that affect your chances of being reimbursed.