Upper Crust, a gourmet pizza chain, continues to face legal problems as the result of failing to pay overtime compensation due to its employees. A Department of Labor investigation revealed that more than 100 employees were entitled to back wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The same pizza chain recently came under investigation for retaliation.
The FLSA sets forth certain minimum wage and overtime standards that affect nearly all employers. Included in the FLSA are minimum wage and overtime provisions. The overtime law states that all employees who are not exempt must be paid at a rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.
One of the most important issues in overtime law – and what gets most employers into trouble – is properly classifying workers and exempt or not exempt. Exemptions typically apply where you make a certain amount of money per week and perform a certain type of “white collar” work. If you are exempt, then your employer isn’t required to pay overtime, regardless of the number of hours you work. However, if you’re not exempt then you must be paid time and a half for every hour worked more than 40. If your employer fails to pay overtime, it may be a violation of the FLSA. Further – if you complain about not getting paid, your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you by taking such action as firing you or giving you worse hours.
Here, the Upper Crust improperly classified non-exempt kitchen employees as exempt and paid them “straight time” wage instead of overtime compensation. Just a few years ago, the same employer was also improperly classified as exempt delivery drivers and other hourly employees such as cooks, counter help and managers.
If you believe you have been denied overtime or that your employer has violated the FLSA, it is important to speak to an experienced Georgia wage and hour attorney. At Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, our Atlanta employment law attorneys understand the complexities of the FLSA and have helped numerous clients obtain the back pay and wages they deserve.