Work plays a significant role in the day-to-day lives of most Americans. Adults spend a large portion of their day in the workplace, and they expect to be compensated for their time and effort. Employers can require their employees to work past the time they are scheduled to go home. Working overtime can't always be avoided, but it should always be compensated fairly.
If your employer has not paid you for your overtime hours, you may be wondering if you can file an overtime violation lawsuit. Here are three factors that you need to consider as you prepare your case.
1. Your Employee Status
Not all employees are eligible to receive overtime pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines two types of employees- exempt and non-exempt. Only those employees who are classified as non-exempt are eligible to receive overtime benefits and pay. Exempt employees are typically paid a yearly salary. Their wages are consistent no matter how many hours they work.
An employment attorney can help you evaluate your unique situation to determine if your employer is required to pay you for any overtime hours you work.
2. Your Wage Paid
Employers have very strict guidelines when it comes to compensating their employees for overtime hours. The minimum wage standard for overtime work is compensation at 1.5 times the regular wage of the employee. This means that you should be earning 50% more for each hour of overtime that you work.
Pay close attention to your paystubs to determine if the correct wage is being assigned to your overtime hours. Your employment attorney can help you review all of your previous pay stubs for evidence of overtime violations.
3. Your Best Lawsuit Option
Once you and your employment lawyer have decided that you have grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer for overtime violations, you will need to decide which type of lawsuit option will work best. There are two types of lawsuits that are typically filed in response to an overtime dispute: individual and class-action. An individual lawsuit names only you as the plaintiff in the case. A class-action lawsuit will name numerous people as plaintiffs.
Class action lawsuits can be beneficial when several employees have not been paid properly for their overtime hours. Combining their cases gives each employee a better chance at a successful outcome in court.
A knowledgeable employment attorney can help you determine which type of lawsuit works best for your situation.