Employers who fail to pay their employees the overtime they deserve are in violation of federal and New York state laws. Under these wage laws, people are guaranteed at least a minimum wage for the work they do. In some instances, employers are required to pay employees at least time and a half for overtime. Unfortunately, in New York City, unpaid overtime is far too common. If you haven’t received the overtime pay you deserve, we recommend discussing your case with an experienced employment attorney
Discuss Your Unpaid Overtime Case With an Experienced Attorney
If you suspect or know that your employer has not paid you the overtime you deserve, we recommend discussing your case with an experienced employment attorney. The New York City unpaid overtime attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP have extensive experience representing individuals and companies and all forms of wage-and-hour actions. We will carefully review your case and inform you of your legal rights. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your unpaid overtime.
Unpaid Overtime and the FLSA
Federal and state laws protect employees when it comes to unpaid overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) Is a federal law that was enacted to ensure that workers are adequately compensated for all of the work they do, including overtime work. There are two significant provisions regarding employee pay in the FLSA. First, the FLSA requires employers to pay their employees a minimum hourly wage. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. In New York City, the minimum wage is now $15 per hour. When employers fail to pay at least a minimum wage, they can face penalties under the FLSA.
Additionally, the FLSA requires employers to pay enough overtime wages. Employers must pay employees who work over 40 hours in a week time and half the employee’s normal hourly rate. For example, if an employee typically makes the minimum wage of $15 per hour and works 10 hours of overtime, the employer must pay $22.50 per hour for each overtime hour the employee works.
When an employer has failed to pay employees properly, an employee has two years to file a lawsuit in federal court against his or her employer for unpaid overtime or wages. If the employer willfully fails to pay an employee properly, the employee will have three years to file a lawsuit. The victim can also pursue attorneys’ fees and liquidated damages which doubled the amount owed to the employee.
Recovering Unpaid Overtime Under New York State Laws
In New York state, employees can bring a lawsuit for wage theft going back six years. New York state law also requires employers to pay their employees overtime for any hours worked over 40 hours in one week. An employee can combine federal and state claims and litigate both at the same time in federal court to maximize their recovery. In other words, placing an employee on salary doesn’t always mean that an employer can fail to pay overtime.
Additionally, the employee’s job title isn’t a crucial factor in whether or not the employer is exempt from paying that employee overtime. Instead, a court will consider the employee’s duty to determine if they are entitled to overtime payment or exempt. Generally, the less flexibility, discretion, and authority an employee has in performing his or her duties, the less likely they will qualify for an exemption from overtime pay. The following jobs are typically classified as exempt and not entitled to overtime:
- Executives who supervise two or more full-time employees
- Outside salespeople
- Administrative personnel
- Those with expert computer skills
- Licensed professionals such as lawyers, doctors, and CPAs
- Independent contractors and Consultants
- Employees with advanced degrees for the work they do
Misclassified Employees Who May Be Entitled to Compensation
If you are unsure whether you are entitled to unpaid overtime, we recommend discussing your case with an attorney. Just because your job title is an executive doesn’t mean that your employer is exempt from paying overtime. Many employers misclassify employees’ positions as a way to avoid paying overtime. The following jobs are typically misclassified as exempt, and employees in the following positions may be entitled to overtime:
- Back-office financial employees
- Account executives
- Customer service representatives
- Analysts and researchers
- Computer help desk technicians
What If I am a Professional or Executive Employee?
What if an employee is paid on salary, but his or her boss requires significant unpaid overtime. Federal law did not increase a professional, executive, or administrative employee’s salary exempt from overtime loss. However, New York state has increased the threshold for eliminating the obligation to pay overtime to executive employees.
Class Action Lawsuits for Unpaid Overtime
Many wage-and-hour violations, including unpaid overtime claims, can be brought as class action lawsuits. In a class-action lawsuit, the current and former employees are in a class and take collective action against their employer or former employer. At Lipsky Lowe LLP, our experienced employment attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience handling class action lawsuits. When an employee may have damages too small to justify filing an individual lawsuit, a class action lawsuit can help every employee recover the damages they deserve. Class action lawsuits have greater efficiencies and lower costs by resolving all claims in a single lawsuit.
Employees who bring a lawsuit for unpaid overtime are entitled to compensatory and liquidated damages. Compensatory damages include payment for lost wages. Liquidated damages are designed to punish the company for willful misconduct. Liquidated damages usually equal 100% of the amount of unpaid wages the employer owes the employee.
Contact an NYC Unpaid Overtime Attorney Today
At Lipsky Lowe LLP, our New York City employment lawyers have the experience and skills to evaluate all of your legal options. We will provide you with the legal services you need to fight for your unpaid overtime. When you work with Lipsky Lowe LLP, you can rely on our experienced employment attorneys to provide you with excellent and effective legal representation. Contact Lipsky Lowe LLP today to discuss your NYC unpaid overtime case.