Overtime Litigation Cases In New Jersey & New York
The Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as state wage and hour laws, require that employers compensate their non-exempt employees for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours per week. Companies often fail to pay any overtime for more than 40 hours of work per week. As set forth below, many employers often fail to properly calculate overtime payments, which can result in significant underpayment.
Employers and employees should be aware of their rights and/or obligations under these laws. Employees may potentially be entitled to recover several years of double the back wages that they have been improperly denied. Employees are also entitled to bring actions on behalf of their co-workers in court.
Working Overtime in Princeton, New Jersey
Working overtime is a reality for millions of American workers. Overtime is defined as any hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Under this law, employees who work overtime are required to be paid at least one and a half times their normal hourly wages as compensation for the extended work period.
Although most workers are aware of this higher wage for overtime hours worked, many are not completely sure about the other legal requirements of working overtime. Employers sometimes take advantage of their employees’ ignorance and fail to compensate them adequately for their overtime or fail to inform them of their rights. If you do not receive the payment you need for your overtime hours worked, discuss your case with an experienced employment attorney to determine if you have grounds to take legal action.
Working Overtime as a Salaried Employee
Overtime is a tricky subject for salaried employees. Unlike employees who are paid by the hour, salaried employees are paid an annual sum with the expectation that they will work 40 hours each week for the majority of the year.
A salaried employee is defined as any individual who earns more than $455 per week and is paid the same amount for every week that he or she works. If an employee is paid a salary and performs the duties of an exempt employee, he or she is not entitled to receive overtime pay. Otherwise, he or she is entitled to receive it.
Examples of exempt worker duties include:
- Work that requires an advanced degree;
- Supervisory work; and
- Work that requires the employee to make high-level business decisions.
Working Overtime by Force
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers have the right to force employees to work overtime. There is no limit to the number of hours an employee can legally be required to work – only a threshold at which he or she must receive overtime pay.
Common Employment Types Who Often Lose Overtime Payments
The categories of employees for whom companies often fail to properly pay overtime wages include, but are not limited to:
- Hospital Employees
- Medical Support Staff
- Public Sector Employees
- Police Officers
- IT Help Desk Employees
- Computer/Network Maintenance & Repair Workers
- Bookkeepers/Junior Accountants
- Union employees
- Construction Workers
- Warehouse Workers
- Restaurant Workers
As previously stated, employers often do not pay the required amount of overtime even though they make some type of payment for overtime hours. Employers make frequent errors in calculating overtime payment including, but not limited to:
- Averaging hours over a two week period
- Not including all payments in calculating the overtime rate of pay
- Not paying overtime for all hours worked over 40 per week
- Not including time spent preparing for work (donning and doffing)
New Jersey Wage Dispute Attorneys
For the legal guidance, you need when you are facing an overtime dispute, contact our team of experienced wage dispute attorneys in New Jersey at The Sattiraju Law Firm, P.C. today. We are available to discuss your case and help you determine the right course of action, in person at our Princeton or New York locations.
Our firm concentrates its practice in this important area of law. We advise both employers and employees about potential claims. Please contact our firm so that we can help you determine whether you have a potential claim and/or liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or state law.
Learn More About Overtime Laws & Unpaid Overtime in New Jersey
Commonly Asked Questions about Unpaid Overtime
Is it true that salaried workers cannot be paid overtime?
No, that is not true. The fact that you are paid a salary does not exempt you from receiving overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a week. Instead, you need to look at additional factors, such as how much you make each week and what type of work you do. Certain white-collar professionals are exempt from overtime laws. However, millions of other people likely are not exempt, even if they are paid a salary. You should meet with an attorney to discuss your specific situation.
Am I entitled to overtime pay if I have to stay after my shift ends to close down or clean up the store?
Probably. Employees should be paid for all work, but what exactly qualifies as work time? Under the law, an employee is generally not entitled to de minimis time, which refers to infrequent and insignificant amounts of work that are difficult to record. But closing a store or cleaning up every single night for 20 minutes or more almost certainly qualifies as work, even if your employer is claiming you are doing it after your shift has ended. In fact, even a few minutes of work, if regularly recurring, likely must be compensated.