Are you working over 40 hours per work week but do not get paid overtime compensation? If the answer to that question is yes, you may be owed unpaid wages and you may want to speak with a skilled Houston Employment Lawyer to determine your rights. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law which requires that employees who work more than forty hours in a work week receive overtime compensation for every hour worked over 40 hours in that week.
Employers who violate overtime pay laws can be sued by the employee for the unpaid time. Many overtime cases are filed by groups of employees together, against the same employer, also known as collective or class actions. If you are in the Houston area, contacting a skilled overtime compensation attorney can help you determine what legal options are available to you.
It is important to note that an employer is prohibited from retaliating against an employee who decides to file or join a lawsuit for unpaid overtime compensation. If retaliation does occur (such as getting demoted or terminated after filing an FLSA lawsuit), the employer may face additional claims in a civil lawsuit for retaliatory wrongful termination.Unsure if You Should Get Paid Overtime?
Often employees know they work over 40 hours per work week but are unsure if they are entitled to overtime compensation. This can be because the employer has provided incorrect information, telling employees they are exempt from receiving overtime compensation, even if that is not the case. Salaried employees also often believe that receiving a set amount of pay weekly or yearly disqualifies them from receiving overtime compensation. This is also untrue as both hourly and salaried employees can be entitled to overtime compensation.
Another common question is whether a worker is correctly classified as an independent contractor (receiving an IRS 1099) or an employee (receiving an IRS W2). True independent contractors are considered in business for themselves and are not subject to overtime laws. However, many individuals are misclassified as independent contractors and are really employees. Employers often misclassify employees because they are not knowledgeable of the laws or purposely misclassify workers to avoid paying overtime compensation. If this type of misclassification occurs, an individual could be owed hours of overtime compensation because he/she is really an employee and the employer is required to pay overtime under the FLSA.
As experienced Houston employment lawyers, we know that there are many factors to consider when determining if an employee is misclassified and thus has been cheated out of overtime compensation he/she has r whether their classification is correct. rightfully earned. Speaking to a knowledgeable overtime compensation attorney can help you determine your rights.How Long Does an Employee Have to Make a Claim for Overtime Compensation That may be Owed?
If you think you may be owed overtime compensation, you need to take action as quickly as possible. There are strict time limits that apply to any claim to recover unpaid overtime, so any delay can decrease the amount of unpaid overtime you are able to recover. This is because claims to recover unpaid overtime pay are subject to a look-back time period of limitations. This means that you may only recover unpaid overtime compensation for the period of time 2 or 3 years back from the date the overtime lawsuit is filed.
Under federal law (the FLSA), which sets the time limits for overtime claims in most states, claims for unpaid overtime must be brought within 2 years. If the employer’s violation of the FLSA is “willful”, the timeframe can be extended to 3 years. Since the time period is calculated back from the date the lawsuit is filed, if an employee owed overtime compensation waits too long to file their lawsuit, they may lose a considerable amount of the value of their claim. To illustrate how this works, see the example below:
Employee A worked for ABC company for two years, starting on May 18, 2014 and ending his employment on May 18, 2016. Employee A knew that he may be owed overtime compensation, but he waited until May 18, 2019 to contact an attorney and inquire about filing a lawsuit.
Even if Employee A filed the lawsuit on May 18, 2019 after contacting an attorney, he would have lost the total value of his claim because 3 years passed since he worked for ABC Company.
If Employee A had contacted an attorney and filed a lawsuit on May 18, 2016 he would have been able to recover overtime compensation for the full two years he worked for ABC Company (looking back from the date he filed his lawsuit two years).
As you can see from the example above, time is of the essence in preserving your overtime compensation claim. If you are uncertain as to whether you may be owed overtime compensation or you think that your overtime pay may not be calculated correctly, you should speak with an employment lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your particular situation.Consult With a Lawyer and Protect Your Rights
If you have worked more than 40 hours in a given week and have not been paid overtime, or have only been paid regular wages for overtime hours, you may be entitled to additional money. Reach out to Leeds Law Firm today for a free consultation with a knowledgeable Houston employment lawyer and learn more about how we can help you fight for all the wages owed to you. We can work with you to gather evidence and work to hold your employer accountable. You deserve to receive the compensation and overtime pay you have worked for.