Phillips & Associates

Overtime for Attorneys Hired to Perform Document Review

Legal Representation for Victims of Wage Violations in New York City

Many lawyers struggle to find legal employment in a small, cramped job market. They may be forced to take a short-term document review position in order to survive. Document review typically consists of tasks such as scanning and categorizing documents using search terms and redacting text. Sometimes, these tasks are performed by non-lawyers rather than attorneys. Attorneys are not usually classified as nonexempt employees because of their learned profession. However, like nonexempt employees, they may nevertheless be able to receive overtime for a document review assignment. The wage violations attorneys at Phillips & Associates can assist New York City residents who have not received the compensation that they are due.

Overtime for Attorneys Hired to Perform Document Review

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), covered nonexempt employees must be paid one and a half times their regular rate of pay after completing 40 hours of work in any given work week. Licensed attorneys are usually considered to have jobs involving professional skill and therefore are usually nonexempt workers under federal and state law. As a result, they are not paid overtime, although most work more than 40 hours in a week. However, attorneys who perform document review often have to work more than 40 hours a week, and they may not be doing work which requires exercising independent legal judgement.

The Second Circuit has held that contract attorneys who are hired for document review may be eligible for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per week and the work they perform is so basic that it cannot legitimately be considered the practice of law. However, the court did not provide other guidance on how to define the "practice of law," leaving this up to individual states to decide for themselves.

This means that some states may find that certain types of document review do not necessarily qualify as the practice of law. For example, if the document review involves categorizing certain documents based on a particular point of law, or providing services which could otherwise be performed by a machine, this may alter the overall employment analysis. It will be important in bringing a lawsuit related to this issue to have legal representation from an experienced employment attorney. Decisions made in individual cases may affect how the rule is interpreted in New York in other similar cases.

Enlist an Overtime Attorney in New York City to Protect Your Rights

Many excellent attorneys have been unable to find work that appropriately utilizes their legal skills, and they may be forced to take document review jobs. Although attorneys are usually nonexempt workers, document review attorneys are not usually paid at a level commensurate with their educational qualifications and student loans. Consequently, every bit of money helps. If you are a contract attorney performing basic document review, you may be entitled to more compensation than you are receiving. While it may be tempting to represent yourself, an individual case can have a significant impact on this new area of law and may affect many other people in the same position. As a result, it is wise to retain a New York City lawyer who is highly experienced in overtime and other wage and hour issues. Call Phillips & Associates at (212) 248-7431 or contact us through our online form to set up a free consultation. We assist individuals throughout Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Westchester County, and Long Island.

45 Broadway, #430
New York, New York 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107

Client Reviews
Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens. Angel
Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone. Margaret
I called at Phillips & Associates seeking for a consultation and I was very pleased with the conversation I had with Eugenio Benvenuto. He was able to answer my questions thoroughly and gave me reassurance. I highly recommend their practice. Giulia
Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman and Eugenio Benvenuto. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen