Overtime Laws Protect Workers - We Know Your Rights!
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The Texas economy is booming right now. Employees are being asked to work long hours. If you have regularly worked more than forty hours per week for a current or former employer within the past three years, you may be entitled to thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, requires that employers pay employees one-and-a-half times their regular rate for every hour worked over 40 hours in a workweek, unless the employee is “exempt.” The FLSA also provides that employees can recover liquidated damages (also called “double damages”) and attorney’s fees in an unpaid overtime lawsuit.
Common unpaid overtime violations
Employers often intentionally or mistakenly violate the FLSA’s overtime rules. Below are some of the common violations of the FLSA’s unpaid overtime provisions:
Paying hourly workers "straight time"
Employers often try to avoid paying overtime by classifying their employees as independent contractors, and paying them straight time (i.e. the same hourly rate regardless of the number of hours actually worked). Whether a worker is an employee (and thus entitled to overtime) However, just because a worker has been classified as an independent contractor does not mean that they are legally classified as an independent contractor. In fact, if a worker is performing manual labor (i.e. non-office work) and being paid by the hour, it is highly likely that he or she should be classified as an employee and paid time-and-a-half for each hour worked.
Refusing to pay salaried employees overtime
Many employers believe that only employees being paid hourly are entitled to overtime pay. Employees are generally still entitled to overtime pay, even if they are paid a salary, unless they fall within one of the specific exemptions under the FLSA. If no exemption applies, the employee must be paid overtime wages for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
Refusing to include “off the clock” hours as overtime
Employees are often required to work "off-the-clock" time, such as working through lunch, working before or after regular shifts, working from home, taking care of work-related equipment, attending meetings or training, or performing job-related "volunteer" work. Under the FLSA, all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week must be paid at the overtime rate.
Paying short-haul truckers on a per load basis
Truckers who do not travel outside of Texas and are paid on a per load basis, regardless of the number of hours actually worked, may be entitled to unpaid overtime.
Refusing to pay “unapproved” overtime
Often employers avoid paying overtime by claiming that the overtime was not approved in advance. However, under the FLSA, employees must be paid for work “suffered or permitted” by the employer. If the employer knows that the employee is continuing to work more than 40 hours in a week, the time is generally considered worked, and the employee must be paid for the overtime.
Giving employees “comp time” instead of overtime pay
Employers try to give their employees compensatory time off instead of paying them for overtime. This practice typically violates the FLSA.
Contact Texas overtime attorney Josh Borsellino for a free evaluation of your overtime claim.
Josh Borsellino understands Texas and federal fair wage laws, including those for unpaid overtime. Josh Borsellino handles unpaid overtime cases on a contingency basis, meaning the client pays the firm nothing unless money is recovered from the employer. If you seek a Texas overtime lawyer, a fair wage lawyer in Texas, or if you simply have questions regarding your right to unpaid overtime, call Josh Borsellino at 432.242.7118 or 817.908.9861 or fill out the contact form for a free evaluation.