Eligible workers who were not properly compensated by their employer for working overtime hours may qualify to file a lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Workers who qualify to file a lawsuit may be able to recover unpaid overtime wages, as well as additional compensation.
When the recession hit in 2008, many companies were forced to cut costs in order to pay their bills and stay in business. Sadly, some companies chose to do this by depriving their employees of wages that they had earned and were entitled to receive under federal law.
Some workers who were not properly compensated for their overtime hours have taken action to ensure that their legal rights are protected. The number of FLSA overtime claims filed in the U.S. has risen each year since 2008. Some companies who committed FLSA overtime or minimum wage violations have been forced to pay multi-million dollar verdicts to workers who did not receive full compensation for their labor.
What is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) is a law passed by Congress to protect the rights of workers and ensure that they receive fair compensation from their employers. The bill enshrined the 40 hour work week into federal law for the first time, created a national minimum wage, guaranteed that eligible workers would receive “time and a half” for overtime hours, and issued child labor laws that placed restrictions on the types of work that could be done by minors.
Under the FLSA, workers are divided into categories of exempt and non-exempt employees for the purposes of determining whether they are eligible to receive overtime. The law required that all non-exempt employees—such as employees at blue collar jobs or full-time workers who are paid an hourly wage—must be paid time-and-a-half for any overtime hours they worked above the normal 40 hour work week.
Grounds for FLSA Overtime Claims
Although the FLSA prohibits employers from not paying overtime wages to its non-exempt employees, some employers neglect to follow these requirements, costing American workers millions of dollars each year in unpaid overtime wages.
Violations of FLSA overtime laws may include:
- Failure to pay employees time-and-a-half for time worked above the 40 hour work week
- Requiring employees to work “off the clock” without pay
- Failure to pay hourly wages for mandatory employee training
- Requiring employees to clock in before the start of their shift
- Misclassification of non-exempt employees as exempt, including employees who improperly receive “executive” job titles
- Failing to pay employees for “donning and doffing” (time spent putting on or taking off job-related clothing or equipment before or after work)
- Being forced to take work home, work through lunch, or perform mandatory job-related “volunteer” work
- Failure to pay employees for miscellaneous tasks (time spent setting up for the job, filling out required paperwork, traveling to or from certain work locations)
- Failure to pay employees the full federal hourly minimum wage
- Processing errors that result in unpaid overtime wages, such as failure to include longevity pay or other “wage augments” when calculating an employee’s overtime rate
FLSA Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits On the Rise In Recent Years
Non-exempt employees who do not receive overtime wages for working more than 40 hours a week or who are the victim of other FLSA violations may be eligible to file a lawsuit against their employer to recover unpaid wages or other damages.
Thousands FLSA lawsuits are filed each year by individual employees or through class action lawsuits filed on behalf of other workers. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that FLSA lawsuits for unpaid overtime and other violations have been on the rise over the last few years, climbing by more than 55% since 2008.
Employers who violate FLSA regulations on overtime compensation are finding out that the penalties for doing so are not just a slap on the wrist. In addition to civil penalties issued by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, juries across the country have issued multimillion dollar verdicts in class action lawsuits that were filed against companies that violated FLSA overtime rules.
Am I eligible to file a FLSA lawsuit?
The FLSA was passed to ensure that American workers received honest wages for an honest day’s work. When workers who put in overtime hours are not properly compensated for their extra work, the law may allow them to file a lawsuit to recover unpaid wages and other damages for themselves or their fellow employees.
In order to be eligible to file an FLSA overtime lawsuit, workers must meet certain criteria to ensure that they are eligible to receive overtime benefits under the law. These criteria may include:
- FLSA non-exempt employee status
- Working 40+ hours during a single week
- Subject to minimum wage laws
Certain other employees—including emergency workers and employees on the job for consecutive 14 day shifts—may also be exempt from FLSA overtime rules. One way to determine if you are not exempted from FLSA requirements and, thus, are eligible to file a lawsuit is to speak with an experience employment attorney about an FLSA claim.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson and FLSA Overtime Claims
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed class action lawsuits in states across the U.S. on behalf of individuals who have been harmed by the wrongful actions of large corporations. Our attorneys have gone to court to take on some of the world’s biggest multinational corporations, and will fight to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, our attorneys are trial lawyers in the truest sense of the term, and will not hesitate to take a case all the way to court in order to achieve the best results for our clients. Our attorneys have achieved verdicts and settlements of more than $200 million on behalf of our clients.
To learn more about FLSA claims and to find out if you are eligible to file an overtime lawsuit, contact the law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form on this website.