Overtime Pay Recovery
Overtime wage theft is known by a different term to employers – they call it “compliance risk.” The “compliance” part refers to their failure to abide by federal and state laws which require them to pay a rate of “time and a half” to certain employees for all hours worked over forty in a workweek. The “risk” part refers to you – the employees cheated out of overtime pay, and the possibility that you may figure out their scam and call a lawyer.
The truth is that the institutions we sue for overtime violations are often unquestionably out of compliance, in other words, they are knowingly breaking the law by failing to pay an overtime rate for hours over 40. These institutions gamble that the illegal practice will not be discovered for long enough to justify the cost of eventual compliance when they are caught. And when they get caught, since they have already saved millions at your expense over many years, the money they have to pay to settle with the employees and pay their lawyers pales in comparison with the amount they saved.
Winning Your Overtime Wages Back
This practice is so widespread that legislators in New York and other states have passed laws which severely punish employers for intentional theft of wages. Fortunately, since it is nearly impossible to hide a practice that impacts thousands, the gig is up when an employer is caught violating the overtime laws – the evidence of guilt is usually overwhelming. As an employee affected by such a practice, it is therefore crucial that you act quickly and avoid losing recoverable overtime wages to the statute of limitations. And if the practice impacts an entire category of workers, you could serve as the lead plaintiff in a class action, a status that may result in additional payments and awards for stepping forward and identifying an illegal overtime practice, but only if you take a leadership role in advancing the litigation.
And if you have questions about whether you are overtime eligible (or nonexempt), it’s best to ask an experienced employment lawyer. It’s too easy to be fooled by common misconceptions – for instance, it doesn’t matter if you earn a salary or if you are classified as an independent contractor, you may still be eligible for overtime. And where there’s smoke, there’s fire – our attorneys have found that if an employee thinks they should be getting overtime, their educated guess is often right. Hesitation can be costly – more than any other type of lawsuit we bring on behalf of employees, recovery in overtime claims depends on how quickly a plaintiff brings suit after they become aware of an illegal practice, and the amount of effort they put into exposing the practice and litigating their claim. So call us – we’ll provide a free case review.