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Failure to Pay Overtime Under FLSA and New York Labor Law

The New York Labor Law and four wage orders issued by the Department of Labor embody these regulations in New York State. There is no restriction between federal and state laws; whichever is stricter may apply to a particular case.

Is It Possible for an Employee to Be Exempt from Overtime?

In any lawsuit, the burden to prove that an employee is exempt falls on the employer. Exemptions are to be proven without an iota of doubt and generally fall in the favor of the employee.

There are several categories of employees who are deemed exempt from overtime by the law, including an employee working in a bona fide executive capacity, in the capacity of outside salesperson, in an administrative capacity, or professional capacity.

How Much Should an Employer Pay as Overtime?

Federal law states that one and half times the employee’s regular rate needs to be paid to him or her as compensation for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours a week. These rules were set in place to ensure that an employer does not cheat an employee of fair wages.

Maximum limits on working hours and overtime provisions protect your rights as an employee to receive fair wages for overtime.

New York law states that an employer is responsible to pay the federal overtime compensation for every hour the employee works in excess of 40 hours per week when the employee does not live on employer’s premises. In case the employee lives on employer’s premises then overtime shall be calculated on worked hours exceeding 44 hours per week.

What are the General Overtime Principles?

These are a few of general overtime compensation principles which you should be aware of:

  • An employee cannot waive their right to overtime compensation
  • Overtime compensation should be paid regularly; however, it does not have to be weekly.
  • Compensation for overtime needs to be paid even for unauthorized overtime. An employer can however, take action against unauthorized working hours in other ways.
  • Cash and other payment alternatives can be used to pay overtime compensation provided it is not being done to avoid an obligation.
  • Any anti-overtime policy of the employer cannot be used to avoid paying overtime.

Know Your Rights

There are a number of ways in which you can stand up for your rights when your employer fails to pay overtime or minimum wages. A committed New York employment attorney such as Emre Polat will be able to help you pursue aggressive litigation. These are some of the things that can be included in compensation:

  • Liquidated damages.
  • Back wages.
  • If your employer is found to have violated your rights then he will need to pay for your legal costs including attorney fee.
  • You can file a lawsuit for yourself individually or collectively as a group.
  • You can file a claim for years of unpaid wages.
  • New York State permits filing for wages going back 6 years.

Check if you Have a Claim

There are many ways that an employer can violate FLSA in order to avoid paying the minimum wages and overtime pay to the employees.

  • Employers tend to treat workers as ‘exempt’
  • They might treat an employee on paper as ‘independent contractor’
  • Employer could steal from the employee’s wages by not paying for the hours spent while ‘working from home’
  • The employer might force an employee to work ‘off the clock’

Retaliatory Concerns

Employee rights are adequately protected by state and federal laws. Employees do not have to worry about retaliatory action from their employer when they raise a formal complaint with the employer, testify about violation, file a lawsuit or even when they bring a claim to the Department of Labor.

Compensation includes double damages and even punitive action against the employer in the event of retaliation.

Fight for your rights with the help of an attorney

If you think that your employer has cheated you off your wages, you should speak to Emre Polat today. He can help you recover your wages and aggressively fight for compensation. You can set up a free consultation by calling us on (212) 480-4500.

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