Settlement in favor of oil field workers in FLSA overtime case
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers who are non-exempt from overtime pay are entitled to overtime wages in multiple situations. When your employer has refused to provide you with overtime wages to which you are entitled, you have two options: pursue a claim through the Wage and Hour Division (the enforcement arm of the FHSA), or seek compensation through an employment lawyer.
At Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, we have 150+ years of combined experience. Our extensive trial experience makes us ideally suited to handle your overtime wage violation case. We can fight to prove that you worked in excess of your standard hours and that you deserve extra pay for your extra time. We are the skilled and aggressive advocates you have been looking for, so don't wait to give us a call.
Call (713) 425-7100 to discuss your options with our firm.
The Fair Labor Standards Act lays out clear and absolute rules regarding overtime pay in the United States. When you are unsure about whether you are entitled to overtime pay, let our seasoned employment litigators help answer your questions. Whether you are an office worker in a tech company or a machinist in a tool and die factory, overtime is available to most workers—but rarely claimed.
You may be entitled to overtime pay if you have worked in excess of:
There are certain workers who may qualify for overtime pay. The standards established by the Fair Labor Standards Act makes any worker who meets the requirements for overtime eligible for extra pay for any and all hours worked over the normal 40 in a week.
There may also be overtime limits set for each day based on state law. Overtime rates are generally paid at time-and-a-half. Meaning, an individual who may be making $10 an hour for normal wages would make $15 for hours worked over the 40-hour weekly limit.
If you work for an employer covered by FLSA, you may qualify for overtime pay. There are some exceptions to be aware of, though, that may make you exempt from overtime laws.
You may not be entitled to overtime pay if you are a:
Qualifications for overtime laws can often be confusing and leave people unaware of what they are entitled to. Make sure you ask your employer if they are covered under FLSA and speak with a overtime violation attorney to determine if your job duties, salary, and number of hours makes you eligible for overtime pay. If an employer wrongfully denies overtime pay to an eligible employee, it can be considered a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This means that the employee may be able to take legal action to recover lost overtime wages that should have been paid to him or her. The FLSA also protects these employees from retaliation if they try to uphold their rights.
Myth: “Comp Time” Is the Same as Overtime Pay
Some employers do offer their employees what is commonly referred to as “comp time” – compensatory time off. This comp time is offered by employers in lieu of cash payment for working more than full-time (more than 40 hours per workweek).
Myth: Employers Can Exclude Breaks When Calculating Work Hours
Resting breaks, defined as 20-minute-or-less periods, cannot be omitted from the workweek when determining overtime. This does not include meal periods, because meal periods aren’t considered “hours worked.” The only exceptions to the lunch break omission would be if the break was less than 30 minutes or if the employee worked through his or her lunch in some capacity.
Myth: Work Travel Does Not Count for Overtime
The FLSA says that travel counts toward “hours worked” as long as the travel cuts across the worker’s normally scheduled work hours. An example would be an employee who regularly works 8 am to 5 pm who takes a work-related flight between 10 am and 12 pm. Those hours between 10 am-12 pm still count toward “hours worked” since they cut across that employee’s normal work schedule.
Myth: Salaried Workers Are Automatically Excluded from Overtime Pay
Salaried is not synonymous with “exempt” in the working world, but that is a common misconception. In other words, it is possible for an employer to pay an employee a salary even though that employee is nonexempt from overtime pay. On the flip side, not all salaried workersqualify for overtime pay.
Myth: Overtime Hours Must Be Pre-Authorized to Qualify
Overtime hours worked do not have to be pre-approved by an employer to qualify for pay. For example, a non-exempt employee who last-minute decides they need to work an extra two hours to finish their job duties still qualifies for time-and-a-half pay for those additional two hours, even though they didn’t first notify and get approval from their employer.
There are perhaps more myths about overtime and wage law in the United States than any other subset of law. If you have questions as an employee, we have answers. Below, we’ve provided answers to some of the most common questions about overtime and wage law.
Is overtime law the same in every state?
Overtime provisions are outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is a federal law. Overtime rights and restrictions, therefore, are the same from state to state. Other labor laws may differ by state, including minimum wage and workers’ compensation.
Is overtime pay only for employees of certain businesses?
According to the Department of Labor, the FLSA’s overtime provisions apply to employees who work for businesses that engage in interstate commerce, usually not less than $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business. However, the Act also applies to some businesses regardless of annual dollar volume, like hospitals, domestic service companies, and higher education institutions.
Who is exempt from overtime law?
There are exempt and nonexempt employees as it applies to overtime provisions in the FLSA. Some examples of exempt employees include executives, outside salesmen, “skilled computer professionals,” farm workers who work on small farms, and babysitters.
Is it possible that I’ve been misclassified as an exempt employee?
Yes. In fact, this happens frequently. In an effort to avoid paying certain employees overtime, some employers misclassify their employees as exempt. If you believe your job requirements fit those of a nonexempt worker, but you are not getting paid overtime, contact us.
If I make tips, does that affect my overtime pay?
If you are a tipped employee, and your boss takes a “tip credit,” then overtime is calculated on the full minimum wage, rather than the lower wage payment. Your employer must take the same tip credit for overtime hours as they do for regular hours. As an example, it is against the FLSA for your employer to take a $4.00 tip credit during your regular hours but a $5.12 tip credit during your overtime hours.
Can an employer ask me to waive my rights to overtime pay?
Whether you sign an agreement waiving your rights to overtime pay or not, overtime pay may not be actually waived. If you are a nonexempt employee, federal law guarantees you time-and-a-half pay for every hour worked over the 40-hour/week threshold.
What can I do if I believe my overtime rights are being violated?
If you believe you are entitled to overtime pay that you have not been getting, you have legal recourse to get the money that you worked for. To find out if you have an FLSA claim, contact an overtime violation lawyer at Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC. You do not have to fear employer retaliation, as you are protected against this under the law. We will also keep all inquiries completely confidential.
At BCH, we hold ourselves to three principles: honesty, hard work, and servicing our clients. We regard each of our clients with the utmost care, relentlessly pursuing all avenues of compensation on their behalf. For decades, clients have entrusted their cases to our care.
Don't let your employer cheat you out of your wages. Begin a claim with our overtime violation attorneys today.