Although overtime pay has been a part of the Fair Labor Standards Act since its enactment in the 1930s employer continue to violate overtime rights and misunderstand how employees may be classified as exempt from overtime and minimum wage requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Texas Labor Code. Employees not exempt must receive overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay for each hour of work over forty hours in the workweek.
FLSA Exemptions for Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay
There are a number of exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act from the overtime and minimum wage provisions. The most common exemption is the salary exemption. Employees paid on a salary basis of at least $455 weekly and perform job duties within one or more categories are exempt. The categories of job duties include administrative, executive, professional, outside sales and information technology positions. Not all positions that perform these types of duties are exempt. There are specific tests for whether an employee’s job duties fall within the specific salary test under the FLSA.
It is not enough that an employee is classified as administrative or performs some administrative tasks in his or her daily work. Misclassification as a salaried, exempt employee is not the only reason an employer may avoid paying rightfully owed overtime. Some employers intentionally avoid paying overtime pay because many employees do not understand their rights and employers feel it is worth the risk.
Unpaid Overtime Pay in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas
An employee who should be paid overtime can recover significant sums against the unpaid overtime pay. Under the FLSA an employee can recover the unpaid overtime for up to three years of wrongfully unpaid overtime plus double that amount as liquidated damages (similar to punitive damages) plus attorney’s fees and costs. Consider this example:
Your employer misclassified you as an administrative employee and refused to pay overtime. You worked two extra hours each week as unpaid overtime and your normal rate of pay is $15 per hour. You should have received an overtime rate of one and a half times your regular rate of pay ($15 x 1.5 = $22.50) for those two hours weekly. If you worked two years then your employer owes you $45.00 ($22.50 x 2 hours) for each week.
$45.00 might be a small amount each week over a year it’s $4,680.00 ($45 x 52 weeks x 2 years). You can double that amount as liquidated damages. Then your employer owes you $9,360.00 plus your attorney’s fees and court costs. The attorney’s fees could be as much or considerably more than the unpaid overtime and liquidated damages. Your overtime claim could be a good chunk of money against a mortgage, car note, or student loan.
Fort Worth employment lawyer for overtime pay and minimum wage
Common positions that suffer unpaid overtime include tipped employees, retail employees and workers wrongfully classified as independent contractors. However, any industry may have employees with unpaid overtime.