Although there are some companies that may try to subvert the system, any time that an employee does work, he or she must be paid for it. Withholding wages for legitimate work completed is illegal and does create grounds for a lawsuit if this practice can be proven. What about unpaid overtime work? Do the same laws take effect in this instance? The short answer is yes, but there are other factors that play into overtime cases that do not in normal working hours.
Firstly, the classification of the employee is important. While it is true that employees must be paid time and a half of their normal wages for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), some employees are exempt from this rule. Employees that are classified as exempt do not have to be paid overtime. These kinds of employees tend to be salaried, “higher level” employees, but not always. If a job is misclassified as exempt when it should not be, there may be grounds for legal action as well, though is becomes a different kind of case.
Different states have different laws concerning overtime as well. Thankfully, it is always the more protective law that takes precedence over working hours rules, however some states do have overtime limits or may classify different jobs as exempt or not. Understanding these differences is important, as there may be no violation at all if the state handles such things differently from the federal government.
In any case, if you are a non-exempt employee that is not being paid for overtime or not be paid appropriately, you then may sue to gain these lost wages. Additionally, if you believe that you may be misclassified as exempt when you should be, you may have grounds for a lawsuit as well. Understanding this kind of law can be tricky, which is why we at the Franco Law Firm are here to help guide you through the legal processes and see justice won for you. To schedule a free consultation with us today, please call us at (813) 872-0929.