Employees who work over 40 hours in a week are entitled to overtime pay. However, some employers fail to pay employees this extra pay or try to convince their workers that they are not entitled to it. It is important to understand your rights to overtime so you receive the pay you worked hard for. You may also be entitled to additional compensation if your employer fails to follow the law.
When Are You Entitled to Overtime Pay?
In any work week that you work over 40 hours, you are entitled to overtime pay under the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Texas Payday law. These laws require your employer to pay you time and a half for all hours of work over 40 hours.
There are limited exceptions to when overtime pay is required under the FLSA. Some of the factors which can determine whether employees are entitled to overtime include:
- Executives who supervise two or more employees
- Administrators who are responsible for company operations
- Professionals who can be paid a salary rather than an hourly wage under the law
- Independent contractors
However, a company cannot simply label an employee’s position as one that is exempt from overtime pay to get around paying overtime. This is called “misclassification.” For example, an employer cannot simply label an administrative assistant a “professional” to avoid paying her at the higher overtime pay rate required for hours worked over 40 hours. Nor does being “on salary” excuse the failure to pay overtime, if the employee does not meet the definition of “exempt.”
Compensation You May Be Entitled to For Overtime Pay Violations
You could be owed thousands of dollars if you are not being paid the overtime wages you deserve. Under the FLSA, you may be able to look back two to three years in determining what you are owed. In addition, under Texas law, you may be entitled to liquidated damages as well as the unpaid overtime. The liquidated damages are a separate damages award equal to the dollar amount of the wages you should have received. You may also be entitled to reasonable attorney fees and court costs.
If your employer failed to pay you overtime based on a company-wide policy, your co-workers may also be owed overtime pay. You may be able to file a class action lawsuit in this situation, in which some or all of your co-workers can be compensated through the work of one lawyer. The law also provides that it is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you for bringing either an individual case or a class action.
Are you worried that you are not receiving the overtime or other wages you are owed at your job in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Mid-Cities area? You need the assistance of an experienced employment law attorney to protect your legal interests. Contact attorney Walt Taylor to schedule a free consultation. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 817.380.4888 to get started.