» Overtime Claims and Wage Claims

Overtime Claims and Wage Claims

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and several other wage and overtime pay laws contain wage, salary and overtime pay requirements that employers must meet. The applicable labor laws on overtime pay generally provide that all employees, including salaried employees, must receive overtime compensation at a rate equal to at least 1.5 times their regular rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any workweek, unless the employee is properly classified as “exempt.” Unfortunately, employers sometimes misclassify employees as “exempt” and fail to provide the required pay for overtime when in fact the employees are entitled to overtime pay according to the appropriate overtime regulations.

Salaried Employees Overtime

Many Texas employers wrongly assume that all salaried employees are not entitled to receive overtime pay. That is incorrect. Pursuant to law, all salaried employees must be paid overtime at a rate equal to 1.5 times their regular rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any workweek, unless two specific conditions are met: (a) the salary must be larger than $455.00 per workweek; and (b) the employee’s job fits within a narrowly-defined overtime exemption under the FLSA.

Hourly Employees Overtime

While there are some exceptions, the large majority of hourly employees are entitled to receive overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in any workweek. One problem in Texas is that employers sometimes fail to properly account for “hours worked” by their employees and therefore do not pay all of the required overtime pay. For example, an employer is generally required to pay an hourly employee for “hours worked” even when the employee is “off the clock” during a meal break if the employee is not completely relieved of his or her duties. Additionally, an employee is usually required to pay hourly employees for “wait time,” time in mandatory meetings or training and time spent traveling after the work day has started but before it has ended.

Commissioned Employees Overtime

Commissioned employees are also often entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in any workweek, as long as the outside sale exemption or another limited overtime exemption under the FLSA does not apply. Employers sometimes misunderstand these overtime requirements for commissioned employees and fail to make legally required overtime payments to commissioned employees in inside sales, recruiting or business development, whose positions do not regularly involve travel.

Important Wage and Overtime Considerations

Penalties for failing to properly pay employee overtime can be severe, even if the failure involves an honest mistake. If an employee regularly works more than 40 hours per workweek and is not paid properly for overtime, he or she may be owed many thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime going back two or possibly three years, plus penalties, interest and attorneys fees. Where there are numerous employees involved, the damages on a FLSA collective action claim (similar to a class action) can run into millions of dollars. The wage and overtime laws also make it unlawful for an employer to retaliate or discriminate against an employee who asserts or assists in asserting wage or overtime rights. Importantly, wage and overtime laws apply to all employers, whether big or small. A good Texas overtime lawyer or Texas wage lawyer will have substantial knowledge in all of these areas.

What We Can Do If You Are An Employee

If you believe you have not been paid the appropriate wages or overtime, we urge you to contact a knowledgeable, experienced and successful Austin overtime lawyer or Austin wage lawyer. A good Austin overtime lawyer or Austin wage lawyer can explain the law in this area; advise you as to whether your employer has engaged in illegal conduct against you; advise you of your rights and options; intercede with your employer when appropriate; represent you before the Department of Labor; and aggressively prosecute your lawsuit if your case cannot be reasonably settled. We do all of these things and have done so for well over 20 years. We invite you to review the testimonials from some employees we have represented on employment matters. If you are an employee who would like to have an experienced and knowledgeable Austin overtime attorney or Austin wage attorney with a long track record of success for employees on your side, contact us.

What We Can Do If You Are An Employer

The wage and hour laws can be extremely complicated for employers. We can help you avoid costly mistakes. Because this is a complicated area of the law, an employer would be well-advised to have an experienced Austin overtime attorney or Austin wage attorney draft or review their policies for appropriate legal compliance and make recommendations to minimize litigation risks. We provide these services. We also conduct internal workplace investigations if a complaint has been made, or a problem is suspected. With respect to wage and overtime-related employment issues, we counsel and advise businesses; represent businesses with the Department of Labor; tenaciously represent businesses who are being sued in lawsuits, arbitrations and mediations; and handle almost any other employment issue you can imagine. We have been very successful in our representation of employers and we invite you to review the testimonials from several of the employers we have represented on employment matters. If you are an employer who would like to have a knowledgeable Austin overtime lawyer or Austin wage lawyer on your side, contact us.

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