The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that requires employers to abide by certain wage and hour laws. Besides minimum wage standards, the FLSA addresses overtime issues, outlining the conditions that require employers to pay overtime and lay out the rules for which employees are exempt. In states with stricter codes than those in the FLSA, the stricter laws supersede. When it comes to overtime, New Jersey adopts federal standards.
The federal statues set out in the FLSA dictate that any hours worked over 40 hours in a single seven-day work week are considered overtime. The law states that the number of hours worked in excess of 40 hours should be paid at one and a half times the employee’s regular pay rate.
Who is Exempt?
While many employers attempt to illegally avoid giving their employees overtime pay, there are limited instances in which the employee is not eligible for overtime. Some instances include certain executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, or commission-based employees. Farm workers, hotel workers, some drivers, and seasonal workers may also be exempt, as well as workers in employment situations that involve specified wage orders. Overtime applies to salary workers as well. Calculations of hours worked must meet minimum wage requirements or the employer may be in violation of the law.
All too often, employers will sidestep overtime requirements set forth in the FLSA. This is unfair to the employee and it is illegal. Techniques for getting around overtime rules include misclassifying the employee, miscalculating their pay, or requiring off-the-clock work. Working during unpaid time can include being asked to prepare for work before hours or working from home during your off time. It may also involve cleaning or closing after clocking out or being unpaid for a break that was never taken. Often, an employer will have employees sign agreements that wave overtime rights. These agreements are not legal.
If you successfully prove in court that your employer owes you overtime pay, you are likely to be awarded that compensation. In addition to the unpaid wages, you may also be able to collect interest on the withheld money. Your employer may also be forced to pay your legal fees and other penalties, such as fines for repeated offenses.
How to Handle Disputed Overtime
If you believe you are owed overtime pay based on federal or state laws, you should bring up the issue with your supervisor. Provide any documentation you have to make your case. If the dispute stands, you can go through the state wage and hour claims process. Alternatively, you can take your employer to court. If you choose to go this route, it is best to speak to an employment lawyer to see if your wage claim is valid.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Represent Employees in Wage and Overtime Disputes
Employees have a right to fair pay for their work. Federal and state laws protect these rights. The courts provide a mechanism for employees to seek fair compensation from employers who aim to avoid established overtime rules. An experienced South Jersey employment lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC can help you fight for the fair pay you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 856-235-7075 to set up a free consultation. With offices in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we represent employee’s rights throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.