Failure to Pay Overtime & Minimum Wage
“I’m a cashier and have been working 60 hours a week for the past year, but my employer pays me the same amount of money each week regardless of how much I work. Is this legal?”
Failure to Pay Overtime
As a general rule, employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are entitled to overtime pay equal to one and a half times their base rate of pay.
Certain classes of employees are exempt from overtime requirements under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state laws. Many employees incorrectly assume that everyone paid on a salary basis is exempt from overtime. However, in order to be exempt, an employee’s job must fall into certain categories that meet each of numerous required legal criteria. For example, an employee with the title of supervisor or manager may not be exempt from overtime if they don’t manage a distinct sub-division of the organization as their primary duty, don’t regularly direct the work of two or more full-time employees or their equivalent, or are not involved in hiring, firing, and promotion decisions. Likewise, administrators may not be exempt from overtime if their primary duty doesn’t regularly involve exercising discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance. Whether an employee is exempt is often a question of law and must be carefully analyzed.
Some employers may try to mask overtime violations by having employees clock out earlier than they finish working, assigning work to be completed after hours, or improperly changing time punches. Other times, an overtime violation may be the result of an employer miscalculating overtime. For example, overtime miscalculations are particularly common for tipped employees such as restaurant wait-staff and bartenders. This is because tipped employees who are paid a lower base wage to account for tips are typically owed more than 1.5 times their base wage for all overtime hours worked.
An employee who has not been paid overtime may be entitled to damages, including back pay (up to three years of unpaid overtime in some cases), additional liquidated damages (often in the form of double or triple the amount of wages owed) and attorney fees and costs.
Failure to Pay Minimum Wage
“I thought minimum wage was $7.25 an hour in New Hampshire, but my employer only pays me $6 an hour. He also doesn’t pay me for all of the hours I’m required to be at work. Is this legal?”
Depending on the specific state, employers are required to pay most employees a specific minimum hourly rate. Local State Minimum Wages:
- Massachusetts – $10.00 per hour
- New Hampshire – $7.25 per hour
- Connecticut – $9.60 per hour
- Vermont – $9.60 per hour
- Federal – $7.25 per hour
An employer can sometimes pay less than the standard minimum wage to employees eligible for tips, provided that the employee makes at least the minimum wage after the tips they keep are factored in.
An employee who has not been paid minimum wage may be entitled to damages, including double or triple back pay (up to three years in some cases) and attorney fees and costs.
We Offer Free Initial Consultations
If you believe you are not being properly paid minimum wage or overtime pay, do not hesitate to contact Wyatt & Associates for a free initial consultation as time is of the essence. Our experienced and compassionate attorneys will sit down with you and take the time to listen to your story. In the event that you retain us, we can help vindicate your rights and will zealously advocate on your behalf at every step of the process—whether that is filing a complaint with the Department of Labor or litigating in a state or federal court.