It is usually no accident when an employer fails to pay one or more employees the full amount they are owed. Businesses need to get the extra work done to increase their profits but don’t want to pay overtime to the workers who make that possible. No, it’s usually no accident—just clear-cut corporate greed.
Sometimes it’s a blatant disregard of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA), the law that governs wages and hours. After 40 hours in a week, most workers are entitled to one-and-a half times their regular rate of pay. Employers may take advantage of the fact that people need their jobs and are reluctant to rock the boat by making an issue of their lack of overtime pay, fearing they may be fired. While some companies count on their employees need and fear to keep them from reporting the overtime violations, other employers deliberately miscategorize their employees, assigning a job title that appears to place them in an exempt class.
What Everyone Needs to Know about the Fair Labor Standards Act
Here are a couple of things everyone who works for a living needs to know:
- It is entirely illegal to fire an employee for filing a claim for unpaid wages under FSLA. If this happens to you, you need a good wage and hour attorney. You will most likely be entitled to recover the unpaid wages, be reinstated in your job, and be compensated for any other damages you incurred as a result of being fired. So you should never let fear of losing your job interfere with your insisting on getting fair pay for the work you perform.
- Whether you are exempt or not has nothing to do with the title you are given; it has to do only with the work you do. So if you are doing the work of a receptionist or file clerk but your company calls you an “admin,” you are not exempt. And this is true even if you are a salaried rather than an hourly employee.
Who is Actually Entitled to Overtime Pay?
Overtime pay law are meant to cover most workers; but there are some categories of employees who are exempt. These are mostly professionals and management personnel. This is a partial list showing the most common classifications of workers who are exempt from overtime pay.
- Administrative personnel
- Commissioned sales representatives
- Computer professionals who are paid at least $26.73 per hour
- Workers on small farms
- Drivers, loaders, and mechanics
- Some seasonal and recreational employees
But as indicated above, what you are called is irrelevant; it’s what you do that counts.
Have You Been Wrongly Denied Your Overtime Pay?
If you live in Texas and feel you have been cheated out of pay that is owed you, there is no reason to sit back and accept it. You need a good wage and hour attorney to help you make your FLSA claim and to protect your rights both during and after the claim process. You can get the help you need by calling the Austin personal injury lawyer firm of Briggle and Polan, PLLC, and scheduling a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable and committed attorneys. Our lawyers have had numerous successes recovering unpaid wages and related damages for our clients. The only way to discourage greedy employers from attempting to take advantage of those employees is to hold them accountable and force them to pay what is owed and more through a legal action in federal court.
These are a few of the cases we’ve handled successfully:
- A bar employee who performed multiple non-management tasks and was never paid overtime, in spite of regularly working over 50 hours a week.
- A former machinist for a firearms accessory manufacturer hired who worked between 50 and 72 hours per week and never received the required “time-and-a-half” for the hours in excess of 40.
- Another former employee of a Texas firearms accessory manufacturer who was not paid for any of the overtime he put in during the last three years he worked for the company.
We were able to obtain monetary settlements for these employees who had been denied their right to overtime pay under FLSA, and we will work to recover money for you if you were cheated out of your due. Our lawyers will prepare your case and support you throughout the whole legal process. In cases where some form of retaliation occurs, let us know and we’ll handle it. Retaliation is strictly against the law. You can count on our Austin wage and hour claim lawyers and workplace accident attorneys at Briggle & Polan, PLLC. We have your back. Call us today for a free consultation. You pay us nothing until we get you the money you’re owed. 512-472-1926