Employers Must Pay Workers Overtime, Regardless Of Citizenship Status

A recent overtime lawsuit from New York emphasized the fact that citizenship status does not affect whether workers are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and entitled to overtime pay. The case looked at whether it’s okay to pay workers a set rate per day, rather than an hourly rate. The answer depends in part on if the workers are required to work more than 8 hours in a day, if they receive overtime compensation and if their pay meets minimum wage requirements. Whether the worker is an illegal alien does not affect his or her right to fair pay.

If you have questions regarding your paycheck and if your employer is paying you all the wages you are entitled to, it’s a good idea to meet with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorney. A knowledgeable wage and hour lawyer can review your pay stubs talk about your work situation, and help you determine your next steps.

The New York case involved a nail salon that paid its workers a set rate of pay for each day worked, regardless of how many hours worked. The employees often ended up working more than 40 hours per week without receiving overtime pay. Under the federal labor law (the Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA]), non-exempt employees must be paid overtime compensation at a rate of 1 and ½ times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 hours in any workweek. The nail salon also failed to keep records of employees’ pay and hours as required by law.

The nail salon claimed that many of the employees were illegal aliens, so they didn’t have to follow overtime pay laws. However the court rejected this argument, stating, “By its terms, the FLSA applies to ‘any individual’ employed by an employer … The Act contains no exception or exclusion for persons who are not U.S. citizens or who are in this country illegally.”

Courts have long said the FLSA protects all employees from abuse, regardless of immigration status.

As a result, the court required the salon to pay its employees back pay.

For more information or if you have questions about your pay, please contact the top Georgia overtime pay lawyers Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.