You have worked beyond the normal 40-hour work week, but you have not received payment for that time. Or perhaps you’ve worked numerous hours “off the clock” after your boss asked you to do so. Unfortunately, both of these situations are instances of employment law violations. Specifically, these are examples of an employer’s failure to pay overtime.
At Bell Law Group, PLLC, we refuse to accept any instance of failure to pay overtime wages. You have worked hard, and you deserve to be compensated for that work. Our experienced employee lawyers will stand up for you and with you at all stages of the wage and hour dispute process.
Common Tactics Employers Will Use to Avoid Paying Overtime
Some employers may take it upon themselves to attempt to save their organizations money by willfully refusing to pay its employees overtime wages. While there are many ways an employer can do this, we often see one of two tactics used in these cases:
- Assigning you the incorrect employment status: Your employer may attempt to categorize your employment as “professional” or “executive,” even if your job duties do not fit within the narrow confines by which the law defines those categories. Doing this puts you within the exempt employment status, meaning you are not eligible for overtime.
- Requiring you to work outside of your scheduled business hours: It is absolutely illegal for your employer to ask you to work “off the clock.” Additionally, it is illegal for your employer to tamper with timesheets so as to remove instances of you clocking in early or leaving late.
There are additional situations where some employers may not have realized that they were withholding overtime pay. These employers are just as liable for their mistake as those who made willful wage and hour law violations.
We Will Pursue All Available Damages for You
If you have lost out on overtime pay, you may have the ability to pursue several types of remedies, including:
- Back pay: This remedy requires your employer to pay you the wages you would have received had the employer paid you outright at the time you put in the extra hours.
Liquidated damages: In the event of willful withholding of overtime wages, the law allows for doubled back wages for up to three years.
- Punitive damages: Your employer may also need to pay additional fines as punishment for violation of the overtime regulations. For instance, New York law provides for significant penalties against employers who wilfully withhold overtime wages.
- Injunctions: In some situations, we may seek equitable relief in addition to financial damages. This equitable relief can come in many forms, including production limitations, recalls and more.
Lawyer fees and court costs: If found guilty of an overtime violation, your employer must pay your lawyer’s fees and related court costs, whether we win in court or we receive a settlement offer for you. The fees that the federal employer will pay are based on a reasonableness standard.