Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits in New York
New York Attorneys Recover Unpaid Overtime for Eligible Employees
Leeds Brown Law, P.C., attorneys representing workers in New York who are seeking unpaid overtime, know how often employers fail to comply with wage and hour laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law (NYLL) require that employers pay employees minimum wage and overtime. Overtime pay means that for every hour worked over 40 in a workweek, employers must pay time and a half the regular rate of pay.
There are a few exceptions to the rules regarding overtime, but the presumption is that most employees should receive overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours. If you think you are entitled to overtime, but your employer does not, you may want to consult with someone at Leeds Brown. Speak with one of our unpaid overtime attorneys to learn more about your rights and how to recover the money to which you are legally entitled. We can help you navigate the process of filing a court claim, securing your earnings and making sure your employer fulfills its legal obligations.
Taking a Closer Look at Overtime
Under the FLSA “nonexempt” employees who work over 40 hours in a workweek are eligible for overtime pay. Employees who earn less than $455 per week, whether they receive pay on an hourly or salary basis, are nonexempt; meaning they are entitled to overtime. Beginning in December 2016, the salary threshold was supposed to increase significantly to $913 per week; meaning employees earning less than $913 per week would receive overtime. November 22, 2016, however, a U.S. District Court Judge granted a preliminary injunction, preventing the implementation of the new FLSA threshold.
The federal injunction did not stop New York State from making changes to the salary amount that makes employees eligible for overtime. In NY, salary thresholds vary depending on the location and size of the business. Beginning December 16, 2016, the salary threshold ranges from $727.50 per week to $825.00 per week. Employees who are making less than these amounts may be eligible for overtime.
Under the FLSA, nonexempt employees may become exempt if, for example, their jobs require specific administrative, executive or professional duties or they are computer professionals or outside salespeople. However, each situation is unique and should be reviewed by experienced overtime law attorneys.
Certain Employees are Never Exempt Under the FLSA
Some overtime exemptions allowed under the FLSA are known as “white collar” exemptions.
“Blue collar” workers and manual laborers are never exempt under the salary and duties exemptions above regardless of their salaries. Blue collar employees include those who perform work involving repetitive operations with their hands, physical skill and energy. Non-management employees in fields of production, maintenance, construction, carpentry, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, artisans, operating engineers, longshoremen construction workers, and laborers.
Exemptions also don’t apply to police officers, detectives, deputy sheriffs, state troopers, highway patrol officers, investigators, inspectors, correctional officers, parole or probation officers, park rangers, firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, ambulance personnel, rescue workers and hazardous materials workers.
Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors Should Receive Overtime Pay
Independent contractors, under the FLSA, are not technically employees. Therefore, they are not entitled to receive protections like minimum wage and overtime. However, misclassifying employees as independent contractors is one of the most common ways that employers try to avoid their legal obligation to pay overtime to deserving workers. Just because your employer calls you an independent contractor, does not mean that you are one.
When considering what it means to be an independent contractor under the FLSA, courts and administrative agencies look at several factors, including how much control the worker has over the job, hiring, and/or delivery of services. This test looks to the relationship between the business receiving and the person providing the service or work. Courts and administrative agencies also consider an economic realities test which evaluates the level to which the worker derives income from the business. If the business is a worker’s sole source of income, it is more likely he or she is an employee. Other considerations:
- Who exercises control over the work and to what degree?
- What is each party’s level of risk in the relationship?
- Who paid for materials, supplies, and equipment?
- What type of skill does the work require?
- Is there a degree of permanence to the worker’s relationship with the business?
- Is the worker an integral part of the business?
What Can You Do?
If you think your employer has wrongfully classified you as an exempt employee or independent contractor, consider speaking with unpaid overtime attorneys at Leeds Brown. You may be able to file a claim with an administrative agency or a civil case in court to recover the money your employer owes you. Time-and-a-half pay is expensive for employers, but if you are entitled to overtime, you should take steps to make sure you get it. You worked hard for it, and the purpose of the FLSA overtime provisions is to reward employees who put in that extra time.
Don’t let your employer keep what belongs to you. Your labor is not free. The law requires that employers pay minimum wage and overtime to eligible employees. At Leeds Brown, we can help you determine if you are nonexempt or misclassified. Contact us for a free case evaluation, and we can begin the process of securing what is yours.
Remember, your employer may not retaliate against you for trying to recover your lawful earnings. If you have tried to discuss your unpaid overtime or unpaid wages with your employer and have been fired or otherwise punished, you may have an additional cause of action for retaliation. You may be able to recover back pay in addition to other financial compensation.
Leeds Brown, handling unpaid overtime cases in New York, has what it takes to fight for the rights of workers and hold employers accountable for wage violations. Call us today for more information about how you can collect the unpaid overtime your employer owes you and ensure your future wages are secure as well.
You can reach someone at our office 24/7. Time may be of the essence so call lawyers filing unpaid overtime claims for New York employees today at 1-800-585-4658.