No one likes the idea of going against their employer for fear of losing their job, but when it comes to improper compensation, it often becomes a necessity. The federal government has laws in place to protect employees from withholding of wages, dictating who qualifies for overtime and how it should be paid. While certain states have supplemental laws that go beyond federal protections, some businesses don’t follow the rules. For employees who aren’t familiar with the federal laws regarding overtime, a New York attorney can help determine if these laws have been violated.
What Are the Federal Guidelines?
As of 2009, the Fair Labor Standards Act dictates that all eligible nonexempt employees must be paid a minimum of $7.25 per hour up to a total of 40 hours per week. When employees work beyond those 40 hours, this act dictates employers compensate workers for the time by paying one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate. However, it doesn’t apply to working weekends, holidays or regularly scheduled days off, unless those hours fall beyond the individual’s 40 hour work week. Unfortunately, some employers don’t follow these regulations as closely as possible.
In addition, federal law can often differ from state law, making it difficult to know how far back one can seek compensation for overtime. For example, under the federal law (FLSA), the statute of limitations to file a claim for overtime compensation is three years, but under the New York state labor law (NYLL), it is six years.
Collecting Unpaid Wages
When you aren’t properly compensated for overtime worked, it’s essential to work with an experienced New York lawyer to determine whether you are owed money for the additional hours. The key is understanding which employees are exempt from overtime pay and what duties may qualify them. One of the most significant problems that results in underpayment is the misclassification of employees. If you feel you may be classified incorrectly and may indeed be due overtime compensation, talking with a labor law attorney in New York can help settle the question and help you determine if you have a case.
It’s About More Than Recovering Due Compensation
While your primary goal in consulting with a New York attorney is to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled, these cases are about more than that. Companies that don’t follow federal regulations for overtime pay are more likely to continue using these practices on current and future employees. When you take action against your employer due to a failure to pay overtime rates appropriately, you are changing the way they pay their employees, preventing the same situation for others. It can also help the government make adjustments to ensure compliance.
Facing a current or past employer in court can be intimidating. However, when you are owed money for overtime worked, hiring an attorney in New York to handle your case can help you take these necessary steps. Even though these cases may feel like a mistake, harming your future employment opportunities, experienced lawyers can navigate your case successfully so you can get the proper compensation and keep your reputation in your industry intact.
If you’re looking for an experienced New York lawyer to help with your overtime compensation case, contact us. Gordon & Gordon can help you seek the payments you are owed.