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FLSA Overview

Employment Lawyers Protecting the Rights of New York Workers

Federal law assures that workers in the United States have certain rights. Among them are the rights to overtime pay and the guarantee of a minimum wage. If your employer has violated your protections under the law, you should consider contacting the employment attorneys of Phillips & Associates. We have the skills and knowledge to assert your rights against a New York employer who has mistreated you.

Employers Must Pay Nonexempt Employees Overtime

A federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay eligible workers overtime wages, and most New York employers are bound by the FLSA because New York does not have its own overtime regulations. For any hours over 40 that a nonexempt employee works in a seven-day workweek, the employer must pay the employee an overtime wage of 1.5 times the worker’s normal wage, often called "time and a half." For example, if an employee who normally earns $10 an hour works 42 hours in a week, the employee should receive $10 an hour for 40 hours, and $15 an hour for two hours.

The only way an employee earns overtime under the FLSA is by working more than 40 hours. Whether an employee works more than eight hours in a single day or more than seven consecutive days is irrelevant.

Exempt Status is Determined by Job Duties

Nonexempt overtime employees are entitled to overtime wages if they meet the hours requirement set forth in the FLSA. However, employers are not required to pay exempt workers an overtime wage, no matter how many hours they work.

The normal job duties that the employee performs are the single determining factor. If the worker’s duties fall into one of the exempted categories, he or she is exempt from the FLSA overtime requirement. Otherwise, the employee is nonexempt. A few of the primary exempt categories are executive, professional, and administrative employees.

The determination of whether a worker is exempt or nonexempt is not made by the employer. Therefore, an employer that engages in misclassification of a worker’s overtime status may be liable to that individual for an overtime wage claim.

All Work Counts Toward Overtime Hours

Agreements between employers and employees that circumvent the FLSA overtime duties are void and not enforceable. Therefore, all work done by nonexempt workers — whether in or out of the office and whether on or off the clock— is compensable, and the hours count toward the 40-hour overtime limit. Most training time is compensable, along with travel time that cuts across the workday.

Employees Can Collect Back Wages

An employee whose employer owes her overtime wages can sue to collect those wages. Workers filing an overtime wage claim can seek up to two, or sometimes three, years of back wages, along with liquidated damages. The FLSA sets liquidated damages equal to the amount of back wages earned. Therefore, successful plaintiffs can recover a total of twice the back wages owed, plus attorney fees and costs.

Rely on Seasoned New York Attorneys for Your Employment Dispute

You do not have to tolerate the behavior of an employer that refuses to respect your rights. Explore whether you can take legal action in New York by consulting the employment lawyers at Phillips & Associates. We have provided thorough guidance to many workers whose rights have been infringed by companies in Manhattan and other areas of this state. Call (212) 248-7431 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation at no cost to you.

New Jersey Employment Lawyer Blog - Fair Labor Standards Act
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