Straight Time Pay for Overtime?

Shavitz Law Group

Some employers have been known to pay employees a fixed hourly rate whether they work 30 hours in a week or 70 hours in a week. This pay practice is sometimes referred to as “straight time” pay. In essence, an employer has decided not to pay “one and a half” times the hourly rate for overtime. In this case, the evidence can be really simple – if one is paid $10 for their first hour of work and $10 for their 45th hour of work. So, let’s say someone worked 45 hours a week one week, and 48 hours a week another, an employer would be paying “straight time” if they paid their employees $450 and $480 for those two weeks in this example. But here is the problem: if the person’s job duties qualify them for overtime pay, they are not getting paid $15 an hour for the hours worked past 40 in a week. In this case, some people say that they owe the person “half time” because they have already paid the employee the regular hourly rate for all hours worked.

Unpaid Commissions? Employer Owes Commissions?

Shavitz Law Group

Some people approach us telling us that they were paid only by commission, and that their employer never kept track of their time. In addition to the issue of unpaid commissions, some workers may be owed overtime wages in certain positions depending on – yes, their job duties. For example, car salespeople may not be considered “non-exempt” or due overtime wages for overtime hours. But, there are many inside sales positions and other positions as well where employers at times do not properly compensate their employees for overtime hours worked.

Paid A Salary Without Overtime Pay?

Shavitz Law Group

Many people think that just because they are paid a salary, they are not entitled to overtime wages for the overtime hours worked. A salary is not the determinant or deciding factor here. Federal law does not consider salary as a reason why someone should or should receive overtime pay. This is why our investigators ask about job duties. Our team of attorneys apply their experience and knowledge of federal law and can help you determine whether you should have received overtime pay at your current or former job. Let our firm give you a free consultation.

Florida Employment Attorneys With a Free Consultation?

Shavitz Law Group

Finding the right employment attorney or employment lawyer is not always easy. Let the Shavitz Law Group provide you with a free consultation and you can learn more about your rights. Also, our firm works with an extensive network of attorneys to help people like you that may require additional legal services. Whatever the case, the Shavitz Law Group is the first place to go to explore your rights, without obligation.

Wrongful Termination Lawyers

Shavitz Law Group

Finding a Miami wrongful termination lawyer or a Fort Lauderdale wrongful termination attorney can be scary. Let us help you with a free consultation, and we can explore together if your employee rights have been violated.

Working Without Pay: Off-The-Clock Overtime Hours?

Shavitz Law Group

Every week, tens of thousands of Americans work without pay for some or all of their work.

Before you think this only affects certain industries or just small businesses, think again.

Companies ranging WalMart to Walgreens and CVS to a number of local businesses in your state have found themselves in hot water because their employees claim they did not pay them for all of their overtime hours worked.

One of the most common reasons that employees don’t get paid for all of their overtime hours worked involves “off-the-clock” work. Off-the-clock work is work performed when the employer is not recording or crediting such time.

Examples of problems in this area include the following:

Pre-Shift

Some employees are responsible for showing up at meetings or for training before their shift starts. Their employers may advise that they cannot punch in for this time spent attending such meetings or training.

Other reasons employees do not work on the clock before a schedule shift can include the most obvious – an employer who tells them that they are not allowed to punch in before a designated time, even though the employees are performing work before their “official” start time. For example, an employee may be told to report to work at 7:45 am, but can not punch in until 8:00 am.

Lunch Break Deductions

Typically, employees are entitled to be paid for breaks less than 20 minutes. For breaks over 20 minutes –such as a lunch break of 30 minutes or more – employees are entitled to be paid if they perform work for the employer’s benefit during the lunch break.

For example, an employee who sits at her desk, answers calls and emails, and performs other work during her lunch break, is entitled to be paid for that time. Some employers have policies that “automatically” deduct time from employee time cards for their breaks, including lunch breaks, regardless of whether employees are performing work during these meal breaks.

If your employer is deducting time for breaks from your hours worked and you are performing work for your employer during your breaks, then you may wish to explore seeking reimbursement for unpaid wages.

Post-Shift

Like pre-shift issues, some employees are simply told that they will not be paid after their “official” end time, while at the same time the employer still make responsible for accomplishing their daily responsibilities.

Meanwhile, employers condition employees to believe that that they may not be due overtime pay, when they legally are. Here are a few of the most common reasons why employees may be confused into believing that they are not entitled to overtime.

My Boss Did Not Approve Overtime

Some employees think that to be paid for overtime hours worked, an employer must give prior “approval” for the overtime. This is a legal myth, because what really matters is whether the employer benefited from the work and whether the employer should have known that the employee was working those hours. Unrealistic deadlines, statements such as “stay until you finish,” or time-stamped emails demonstrate that work was conducted.

I Didn’t Keep Any Time Records

Eligible employees are entitle to overtime, regardless of whether they punched in and out for work. For example, many salaried employees are not required to punch in and out because an employer thinks that they are exempt.

Nonetheless, even in the absence of the time records, employers still are responsible for keeping time records for their non-exempt employees. If an employer fails in its duty to maintain proper time records, the law allows employees to rely on their best estimation of their hours worked.

I “Chose” To Work The Overtime

An employer still can be liable for overtime pay if the company benefited from the work and/or had reason to know about the overtime work. Unrealistic deadlines and/or performance goals are techniques some employers use to influence workers to “choose” to work overtime. Ultimately, the employer still may be responsible for compensation of the overtime hours worked.

My Boss Gave Me Comp Time On Other Weeks

Employers in the private sector cannot use comp time in other weeks to “make up” for overtime worked in a different pay week. In terms of the law, each week has to be treated separately and an employer cannot “average” hours out over several weeks. Notably, government employees may receive comp time in lieu of overtime pay.

Be Careful What You Blog For

Shavitz Law Group

Last week, a New York federal judge on Friday tossed out a class action brought by volunteer Huffington Post bloggers seeking compensation for their work. The reason? Bloggers knew they were not getting paid from the start.

After the Huffington Post was sold to AOL, bloggers were upset that the publication’s celebrity founder Arianna Huffington profited greatly from the same of the publication, but the bloggers themselves received no pay for building the site for Huffington.

“That the defendants ultimately profited more than the plaintiffs might have expected does not give the plaintiffs a right to change retroactively their clear, up-front agreement,” Judge Koeltl wrote in the opinion. “That is an effort to change the rules of the game after the game has been played, and equity and good conscience require no such result.”

“The [bloggers] knew that they were not going to be compensated, and there was no materially misleading statement as to that essential fact,” the judge wrote. “Rather, the [bloggers] were explicitly made aware that they would receive exposure … in lieu of monies.”