Filing an Overtime Claim
This country was founded on the premise that a person can earn a living by working hard, and federal wage laws make this possible. Unfortunately, when employers flout the laws, employees must fight back to protect their rights. The dedicated employment lawyers at Phillips & Associates have extensive experience helping New York workers collect the wages they have toiled hard to earn. Let us help you assert your rights.Federal Law Requires Overtime Pay
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay eligible workers overtime. If a nonexempt employee works more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek, the employer must pay the employee an overtime wage of time and one half for each of the overtime hours. The New York State Department of Labor applies the FLSA rules to workers in this state.
There are many reasons why an employer may not pay overtime in accordance with the FLSA. Some mistakenly believe that salaried workers are not entitled to overtime. Others may intentionally misclassify exempt employees by giving them misleading job titles intended to disguise them as exempt. No matter the reason, however, these employers are violating the law, and their workers are entitled to collect back wages.Overtime Claims Are Limited to Two Years
Employees owed back overtime wages can collect those wages by filing a lawsuit against their employer. The FLSA limits the recovery of overtime wage lawsuits to two years of back pay. In other words, an employee may recover wages dating back no further than two years from the date the suit is filed. Therefore, it is important for a worker who is owed overtime pay to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
In some cases, it is possible for an employee to seek more than two years of back overtime wages. The FLSA allows workers to collect three years of wages if the employer knew that it was violating the law but continued the illegal activity nonetheless. If you are unsure what wages you may be able to collect from your employer, talk to an experienced attorney.Workers Can Recover Wages and Additional Damages
Employees who bring a successful suit are entitled to collect the back wages owed to them. In addition, they can also collect what are called liquidated damages, which is a legal term for a fixed amount of compensation. The FLSA sets liquidated damages in overtime wage lawsuits at the amount of the back wages owed to the worker. Therefore, the total damages an employee could win equal twice the amount of back wages owed.
In addition to wages and liquidated damages, workers who win their overtime wage suit can also collect attorney fees and court costs. This prevents workers from having to dip into their winnings to pay their lawyers and the costs of litigation.Multiple Employees May Band Together
Even if an employee is not owed a large amount of back wages, it may still make sense to file a lawsuit. Often, employers who violate the FLSA for one worker do so for many others, making it possible for multiple employees to join together and sue the employer for wages owed to each of them. This is often a more efficient way to litigate a case. If you believe that your employer may owe you and your coworkers back wages, ask an attorney for advice.Consult Experienced Employment Lawyers Serving New York Workers
Employers often will not comply with the law voluntarily, and they should face consequences if they do not. This means that you may need to enlist the services of the knowledgeable employment attorneys at Phillips & Associates. We have helped many workers in Manhattan and the other boroughs of New York hold employers accountable for violating federal law. Call (212) 248-7431 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.