Overtime Wage Claims
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that unless explicitly exempted, employers are required to pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours per week. The rate paid for overtime is one-and-a-half times the set rate per hour for an employee. For instance, if an employee’s regular rate is $10 per hour, the overtime rate would be $15 per hour. Georgia does not have separate minimum wage and overtime laws as many other states in the country do. Those seeking information about overtime wage claims may want to consider scheduling a free consultation with Hall & Lampros, LLP at 404-876-8100.
Definition of Workweek
For the purposes of overtime requirement, it is important to note that a workweek does not necessarily mean working 40 hours from Monday through Sunday. According to the United States Department of Labor, a workweek does not have to coincide with a calendar week and is seven straight 24-hour periods which may start at any hour of any given day. For instance, an employee’s workweek may begin on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and end at completion of the work shift on Tuesday of the following week. A workweek is defined as a fixed and continuous period of 168 hours.
Jobs Exempt from Overtime Requirement
Most “blue collar”, labor, manufacturing, or retail service jobs require payment of overtime. There are specific types of jobs that are exempt from the requirement to pay overtime according to the FLSA. These include but are not limited to:
- Employees who work in outside sales
- Workers who live in their employers’ residence and provide domestic services
- Farm workers
- Some mechanics, salespeople, parts clerks and others employed by non-manufacturing companies in the auto, boat, trailer, aircraft, farm implement, or truck industries
- Some service or retail establishment employees who work on a commission basis
- Seasonal employees of recreational or amusement businesses
- Taxi drivers, employees in the air carrier and railroad industries, and specific motor carrier employees
The most common exemptions from overtime requirement are administrative, executive, or other “white collar” positions. Certain job duties criteria must be met for employees to be exempt from overtime pay, and a minimum of $455 per week must be paid in salary. Knowing whether you have a legitimate overtime wage claim can be difficult; an experienced Georgia wage and hour attorney may be able to help you navigate the complexities of this type of law.
Overtime Wage Claims and Time Limits
Those who believe they are entitled to unpaid overtime compensation should not put off filing an overtime wage claim. In Georgia, the time limits to file a claim is determined by the federal government. Employees have two years to file a claim in most cases, however it may be extended to three years if the employer willfully violates the laws regarding wage payment. The statute of limitations comes into play for those with unpaid overtime wages; waiting too long to file a claim (more than two, or in some cases three years) may result in an employee being denied part or all the back overtime wages they would otherwise have been entitled to. Hall & Lampros, LLP is available to provide further information and answer questions you may have.
Common Employer Violations
Employers often violate overtime wage laws; in many cases the laws are purposely violated. Common employer violations of federal overtime laws include:
- Failing to pay wages for all hours worked by hourly employees
- When an hourly employee works more than 40 hours in the workweek, paying “straight” time (regular hourly rate)
- Paying a “salary” that does not include overtime
- Avoiding overtime pay by classifying workers as independent contractors
- Employers requesting employees take “comp time” in place of overtime wages, or requesting they perform work while not on the clock
- Not paying employees overtime for work performed prior to and following a scheduled shift
- Refusal of employer to pay overtime to employee who did not get authorization to work longer than scheduled
- Classifying employees who are not exempt from overtime as exempt
Unfortunately, employers often try to avoid paying overtime in order to boost their own profits. Workers who are not exempt from overtime wages deserve to be fairly compensated for the work and duties they perform for the companies they work for. Without capable employees who are committed to their jobs, these companies and other establishments would not exist.
Consider Scheduling a Free Consultation Today
Employees who feel their rights have been violated when it comes to overtime pay are often eligible for back pay, however the window to file a claim is typically two or three years depending on certain factors. Those wanting to find out whether they can file an overtime wage claim may want to seek legal guidance. The Georgia wage and hour attorneys at Hall & Lampros, LLP are available for those who want to schedule a consultation at 404-876-8100.