When Should Employees Be Paid For Pre- and Post-Shift Time?

October 18, 2014

This past week the United States Supreme Court heard argument on a potentially significant Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) case. The lawsuit, Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, involves whether employees who are required to stand in a security clearance line for their employer’s benefit must be compensated. Even though the case only concerns security checks, how the Supreme Court rules on this case may impact whether employees must be paid for other pre- and post-shift activities.

Pursuant to the FLSA, employers must pay workers for all time worked, and all non-exempt employees must be paid overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half their standard rate of pay for time worked over 40 hours in any work week. If you have questions about the FLSA, it’s important to consult with an experienced Georgia wage and hour attorney right away.

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Who is An Employer or Employee Under The FLSA?

October 11, 2014

Determining who is your employer and conversely whether you are considered an “employee” are hot topics pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Pursuant to the FLSA, employers owe employees certain rights. These include the right to be paid at least minimum wage, and that all non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay at the rate of one and one-half times their standard rate of pay for every hour worked above 40 in any work week.

If you have questions about how any employment laws apply to you - or if you are considered an “employee” pursuant to labor laws - it is important to consult with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour lawyer immediately.

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Wage Theft Has Cost Low Income Workers Billions In Compensation

September 30, 2014

NBC News reports that wage theft is costing low wage earners literally billions in lost compensation. According to an analysis published by the Economic Policy Institute, close to $1 billion was recovered in 2012 on behalf of workers for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations – such as being paid less than minimum wage or not receiving the overtime compensation they were entitled to.

The FLSA sets forth certain protections that cover nearly all workers – the right to earn at least minimum wage and that non-exempt employees be paid overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half times their standard rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week.

If you have questions about the FLSA or believe that you may have not received all the pay you are entitled to, consulting with a top Georgia wage and hour attorney is important to evaluate your situation and determine your next steps.

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Are You Entitled To Overtime Pay?

September 24, 2014

A recent article in the New York Times looked at a complicated overtime pay issue – one that President Obama is seeking to simplify. The question is – who is entitled to overtime compensation? Under federal labor law – the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - if you are a non-exempt hourly wage earner you are likely entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half your hourly rate of pay for every hour worked beyond 40 in any one-work week. However, if you make $460 a week in a salary you often are not entitled to time-and-a-half for overtime no matter how many extra hours you work. Broken down into an hourly rate of pay this works out to be about $11.50 an hour. When this provision was originally adopted it was to exempt higher paid white-collar workers. However this is no longer the situation. In fact, by treating hourly and salaried workers differently lower paid salary workers may face "wage exploitation" by denying low-paid workers the potential for overtime pay.

If you have wage and hour questions, consulting with an experienced Atlanta Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawyer is important to ensure you are receiving all the pay you deserve.

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Cheerleaders Win Wage Theft Lawsuit

September 14, 2014

The Oakland Raiders cheerleaders – The Raiderettes – have just settled their wage and hour lawsuit against the team. The minimum wage and overtime lawsuit asserted that the Oakland Raiders violated labor laws in several ways, including the failure to pay minimum wage and overtime compensation as required by law.

Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) workers are required to be paid at least minimum wage and all non-exempt employees must be paid one and one half times their standard rate of pay for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in any one work week.

State labor laws are similar to the FLSA, and often contain even more employee friendly provisions. As such if you have questions concerning what laws cover your work situation or believe that you may not have been paid all the compensation you are entitled to, consulting with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorney right away is important to ensure you receive all the pay you rightly deserve.

Here, the cheerleaders asserted that the team broke state minimum wage laws by withholding wages for months and refusing to reimburse the cheerleaders for their business expenses. In the summer, the cheerleaders were victorious when the team agreed to pay the squad on an hourly basis plus overtime, rather than on a flat fee basis.

As the result of the settlements, cheerleaders who have worked for the team will be awarded back pay and damages.

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Are You A Victim of Wage Theft?

September 8, 2014

Several recent lawsuits have highlighted a growing problem across the country – wage theft. Wage theft refers to the failure of employers to pay overtime compensation and minimum wage in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires all employers pay their workers minimum wage and all non-exempt employees overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half times their standard rate of pay.

If you have questions about your pay or believe that your employer has improperly denied you the compensation you deserve, consulting with an experienced Georgia wage and hour attorney is important to protect you from wage theft.

Several high profile wage and hour lawsuits are pending around the country. In one instance, a national trucking company failed to pay overtime to its workers, although many warehouse employees worked 70-hour workweeks. One worker, a Mexican immigrant stated that he’d work “60, even 90 days in a row” without receiving overtime pay.

Other lawsuits, including pending litigation against McDonalds, assert that the company illegally erased hours worked and failed to pay workers for time spent on the job.

In an overtime lawsuit filed against FedEx, drivers claimed they were misclassified as “independent contractors,” and thus deprived overtime pay when required to work 10-hour days.

Federal and state officials have noticed an increase in wage and hour violations, and point to the poor economy, stiff competition and a desire for higher profits as potential reasons for the increase.

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$4.2M Settlement in Wage and Hour Lawsuit

August 30, 2014

Financial services group Morgan Stanley has reached a nearly $5M settlement with its client services group concerning its alleged failure to pay workers overtime compensation. According to reports, the class action wage and hour lawsuit was filed on behalf of more than 800 current and former client associates. The associates were non-exempt employees, and hence entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times their standard rate for all time worked over 40 hours in any workweek. While Morgan Stanley doesn’t admit any wrongdoing, associates will receive back pay and damages.

This lawsuit demonstrates that wage and hour violations can occur in any workplace. While the laws concerning minimum wage and overtime appear straightforward, in reality pay violations are frequent. If you have any wage and hour questions or believe that you have not received all the pay you are entitled to, consulting with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorney is important to ensure you receive the compensation you rightly deserve.

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Wage and Hour Lawsuits May Affect Tipped Employee Compensation

August 22, 2014

Two wage and hour lawsuits are making their way through the court system that could have a large imoact on how tipped employees are paid. Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers may pay certain types of workers (such as waiters and waitresses) less than minimum wage. The law presumes that the amount these “tipped workers” receive in tips will close the gap and make up the difference in pay. Where tipped employees do not receive sufficient pay in tips, employers are generally required to make up the difference. If you are a tipped worker and have questions concerning your pay, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorney to ensure you are receiving all the compensation you are entitled to.

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How Do Wage and Hour Laws Apply to Telecommuting?

August 14, 2014

More and more Americans are telecommuting for work. This trend can be highly beneficial for both employers and employees. By allowing employees to telecommute, employers can save money on office space and employees may be more efficient with the elimination of the hassles of commuting. Many employees also enjoy the flexibility telecommuting provides. However, telecommuting isn’t without its complications. As an employee who telecommutes, understanding how wage and hour laws apply to your work arrangement is crucial.

If you telecommute and have questions about wage and hour laws, consulting with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorney is important to ensure you obtain all the compensation you deserve.

For example if you are a non-exempt employee, pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) you are entitled to be paid for all your time spent on the job. If you put in more than 40 hours in any one workweek, then your employer must pay you overtime at the rate of one and one-half your regular rate of pay. The failure to compensate you for all your time may be a violation of the FLSA, and you may be entitled to back pay and damages. As a result, it is important that time at work is accurately recorded, whether you’re a telecommuter or work in a traditional brick and mortar setting.

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LinkedIn Settles Wage and Hour Lawsuit

August 7, 2014

The professional networking site LinkedIn has just agreed to pay $6 million in back wages and damages in a wage and hour lawsuit. More than 350 current and former employees sued the company alleging that it failed to pay workers the overtime compensation they deserved. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all non-exempt workers that work more than 40 hours in any one work week are entitled to be paid overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half times their standard rate of pay.

If you have any wage and hour questions or believe that you have not received all the pay you deserve, it’s important to consult with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour lawyer right away.

In this instance, the employees alleged that their employment status was mischaracterized. Mischaracterization of employees as exempt v. non-exempt is one of the more common way employers violate the FLSA. Workers who are accidentally or intentionally mischaracterized as “exempt” may fail to receive the overtime compensation they are legally entitled to. Exemptions typically cover certain white collar workers and generally fall into one of three categories – administrative, executive or professional. Additionally, many computer-system analysts, computer programmers and software engineers are also exempt from overtime requirements.

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More Jurisdictions Are Adopting Unpaid Interns Laws

July 30, 2014

Legal news reports that New York State has now become the fourth jurisdiction to make it illegal for employers to “discriminate, harass, or retaliate or otherwise engage in unlawful employment practices,” against unpaid interns and those seeking jobs as unpaid interns.

If you are considering taking an internship or have questions about the laws concerning unpaid internships, it is important to consult with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour lawyer right away.

In recent years both federal and state lawmakers have been cracking down on the use of “unpaid” interns and have been making an effort to educate both employers and workers concerning when an intern must be paid. Generally – an intern must be paid unless they are working for their own benefit (such as personal training) rather than for the benefit of the employer. The U.S. Supreme Court, as codified by the Department of Labor, set forth the following general rules. These include:

1. That the internship is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment.
2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.
5. the intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

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Overtime Pay Rate Determinations Should Include Per Diem Amounts

July 22, 2014

According to a recent statement by the Department of Labor, the number lawsuits resulting from “per diem” pay are on the rise. Per diem pay is pay that you receive in addition to regular pay, and covers certain reimbursable work-related expenses or costs. Overtime lawsuits may arise in a variety of situations involving per diem pay.

For example, the FLSA provides that all non-exempt employees are entitled to over time pay at a rate of one and one-half their standard rate of pay for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek. To determine the “rate of pay’ that serves as a base for this calculation, all remuneration must be added up which includes not only the employee’s stated hourly rate but also any per diem pay. The results of not including such pay can be costly. A recent DOL investigation determined that a labor recruiting and staffing agency that caters to oil field services and maritime fabrication facilities along the Gulf Coast had to pay more than $1.6 million to 1500 current and former employers as the result of its failure to include these amounts in the overtime pay calculation.

If you have questions about the FLSA or believe that you may not have received all the compensation you deserve, consulting with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorney is important to determine your next steps.

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