News reports that a record high number of wage and hour lawsuits have been filed thus far in 2013. According to a recent survey, the tally of new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cases has risen above 7,700, a new record.
The FLSA is an employee friendly law that provides workers protection in many different areas, including child labor laws, minimum wage guarantees and overtime compensation provisions. When an employer violates ones of these provisions, or retaliates against an employee for complaining about a violation, it may be possible for a worker to bring a FLSA lawsuit against an employer to recover back wages and other damages. If you have questions or think that your employer may have violated the FLSA it’s a good idea to consult with a top Georgia overtime attorney right away.
Statistics show that the number of FLSA lawsuits filed in 2013 total 7764, up 10% from 2012. Many of these lawsuits are based on alleged violations of overtime laws. The FLSA provides that all non-exempt workers must be paid at a rate of one and one-half their standard rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours in any one work week. While this sounds like a straightforward rule, employers routinely have difficulties determining who is exempt v. non-exempt and calculating the correct number of hours an employee works. In fact, misclassification of employees is a significant problem. For many workers, overtime pay provides a significant part of a their weekly or monthly wages – often the difference between making ends meet or not. If an employer mistakenly classifies that worker as “exempt,” then he or she may not receive critical overtime income.
While many hourly employees are non-exempt, you may be exempt if you make more than a certain amount of money per week, and if you perform a certain type of “white collar” work. If you are exempt, your employer doesn’t have to pay you time and a half no matter how many hours you work in a week. If you have questions about whether you are exempt or not, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorney.
Another area where employers make mistakes is by failing to accurately calculate the amount of time you have worked and as a result, not paying you all the wages you deserve. This may occur any number of ways, but often happens where workers are required to work through lunches, skip breaks or have to spend significant amounts of time putting on safety clothes and/or equipment but fail to be compensated for that time.
Remember – if you are not exempt, your employer must pay you for all of the time you work.
While FLSA lawsuits may arise whenever your employer violates one of this federal labor law’s provisions – misclassifications and the failure to pay a worker for all the time put in make up two of the largest employee complaints.
For more information or if you believe that your employer may have violated your rights under the FLSA, please contact the top Georgia FLSA attorneys Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.