Overtime Disputes

When it comes to labor laws, the U.S. has taken huge strides to ensure that its people are being paid fair wages for the work they perform. Still, some employers try to find loopholes in order to avoid paying their workers an appropriate amount for their overtime.

For instance, employers often try to save themselves money by having their employees not clock in before work, clock out prematurely and/or during lunch breaks that were never taken, or give up an inappropriate amount of their tips. If these or any of the following injustices have happened to you, now is the time to do something about it. Overtime disputes have a two-year statute of limitations, which means that you have a very limited amount of time to take legal action against your employer.

Hourly Pay with No Overtime

If you are an hourly employee, the general rule is that you must be paid overtime for each hour you work over 40 in a week. However, overtime laws do contain some exemptions which allow employers to pay straight time only without paying overtime. The best way to make sure you aren’t being taken advantage of is to let an experienced employment law attorney evaluate your situation.

Day Rate Employees and Overtime

If you are paid a day rate for work you perform and do not receive overtime compensation, you should immediately consult an attorney regarding your rights. Many employees are paid a day rate for their work, but because they already receive additional pay for additional work, there is a misconception that they are not entitled to overtime compensation. In truth, though, employees who normally earn a day rate are entitled to overtime pay.

Piece Rate Employees and Overtime

The term “piece rate” refers to a person being paid for each completed job they perform. For example, if you are paid for each package you deliver or each car you repair, you are a piece rate employee.

Generally, piece rate employees are entitled to overtime compensation. If you work in this capacity but aren’t receiving overtime compensation, don’t wait to get legal advisement.

When It Comes to Your Work, Every Minute Counts

Let’s Fight for Fair Pay

Hourly Per Diems

Sometimes, companies try to avoid overtime by paying their employees an “hourly per diem,” which is often illegal. What the company is trying to do in this situation is split your pay, so they will pay you $15 per hour as wages and $15 per hour as a per diem. That way, when an employee works over 40 hours, the company’s labor costs don’t go up as much — good for the employer, but unfair to the employee.

In some cases, the company will stop paying the per diem after 40 hours of work, so it actually will pay employees less for overtime hours than non-overtime hours.

Independent Contractor Misclassification

A new way companies are finding to avoid paying overtime is by misclassifying normal workers as independent contractors. Independent contractors are not entitled to overtime, but employees can challenge their status as independent contractors and sue to receive overtime pay.

If you wish to challenge your independent contractor status, start by consulting an attorney about your rights. Typically, employees who can pursue their rights are hourly or day rate employees who are not paid overtime.

Salary Misclassification

Only certain employees can be classified as salaried in accordance with federal law. That’s why, in order to deny you overtime pay, your employer has to prove that a particular exemption applies to you.

The following questions, though not exhaustive, can serve as a general guide as to whether you are entitled to overtime despite being salaried:

  1. Do you manage two or more employees?
  2. Does your job require you to have a four-year college degree?
  3. Do you have a non-manual (office) job that requires you to exercise administrative judgment in applying policies of the company? (for example, HR, purchasing, or safety)?

If you answered “no” to the three questions above and you work over 40 hours each week, you should consult with an attorney immediately.

Overtime Attorney in Stafford, Texas

If you feel that you’re being taken advantage of by your employer, you probably are. The good news — you can do something about it. Don’t stand idly by and allow your pay to be restricted. Instead, contact an experienced lawyer, get familiar with your rights as a Texas worker, and take steps to reclaim what’s rightfully yours.