Articles Posted in FLSA

We all know that workers have certain rights established by Georgia law and federal law. For many workers, it’s not as simple as that. They fear that, if they invoke those rights, they will incur harm that will have a long-lasting negative effect on them and their career going forward. Do not let this fear scare you away from contacting an experienced Atlanta minimum wage and overtime lawyer and pursuing your legal options. Not only does the Fair Labor Standards Act give you certain rights regarding your pay, but it also gives you the potential opportunity to recover compensation if your employer retaliated against you for seeking the fair pay you deserve.

Many news outlets, including major ones like AP, UPI, NPR, and Fox News have sections dedicated to news that is “weird,” “odd,” or “strange.” A lot of these make for fun reading and perhaps a few laughs. Some, however, can be more educational than funny.

Take, for example, a recent peculiar story about an employment dispute that occurred right here in North Georgia. The employee, A.F., worked at an auto shop in Peachtree City. When A.F.’s employment at the shop ended, the employer did not pay him his last paycheck. Still owed $915, the worker took his complaint to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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In almost all areas of the law, there’s a certain interplay between federal law and state law because, when it comes to a lot of subject areas, both have laws addressing and governing that topic. Here in Georgia, that’s true about a lot of employment law-related issues, including everything from age discrimination to the minimum wage to overtime pay. The key in any situation is to know whether federal law or state law applies to your circumstance. Doing this often requires in-depth knowledge of the law, which is why it pays to have an experienced Atlanta minimum wage attorney handling your case.

The hashtag #todayilearned (or TIL for short,) which loosely equates to the more well-worn “Did you know?”, is a common meme on social media. There’s even an entire subreddit (a/k/a subgroup) on the popular internet community Reddit devoted to people sharing things they newly learned.

What does that have to do with Georgia employment law? Perhaps not much, but there is this: a few years ago, members of the Reddit community discussed the fact that Georgia state law sets the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour, beneath the federal law minimum wage of $7.25. That amount remains the Georgia minimum wage today. (Georgia and Wyoming have the lowest state minimum wages, and Georgia’s is not set to go up in 2022.)

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An American psychotherapist became famous after he published a self-help book entitled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff. While that may be great advice in terms of mental health, the exact opposite is often true in legal matters. Many times, the small stuff is the stuff most worth sweating, as something very small may make a very big difference in terms of success versus defeat. That’s why a knowledgeable Atlanta worker misclassification lawyer is so valuable to you, as your attorney will spot all of the small stuff that is most definitely worth sweating.

Here in Georgia, workers, when it comes to minimum wage and overtime, often rely on the protections written into federal law. With that in mind, even cases from outside Georgia may offer very useful insights for you and your minimum wage and overtime case.

A recent Fair Labor Standards Act case from North Carolina is a good example. The case involved an industry where minimum wage and overtime disputes are common: adult entertainment. The plaintiff was an exotic dancer at a club in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Her lawsuit alleged that the club improperly classified her as an independent contractor when she really was an employee and, in the process, improperly failed to meet the overtime and minimum wage obligations of the FLSA.

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Delivery drivers face many challenges in the performance of their jobs. For some drivers, those difficulties might include unsafe drivers on the road, employers who impose unrealistic goals, and unruly dogs at residences. A more insidious problem some delivery drivers face is receiving what amounts to sub-minimum wages in violation of the law. If you think that is happening or has happened to you, you should talk to a knowledgeable Atlanta minimum wage lawyer about your circumstance.

One company that has found itself connected to multiple minimum wage cases involving its delivery drivers is Domino’s, the nationwide pizza chain. Delivery drivers have filed cases against Domino’s and/or its franchisees in Georgia, Washington, and New Jersey, just to name three.

The Georgia case, filed last year in the federal court for the Middle District of Georgia, was recently resolved via a settlement. Terms of the settlement, of which the parties informed the court on Oct. 22, 2021, were not made public.

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Having the right Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer on your side can be priceless. In addition to all of the things your attorney will do, he/she may also provide incalculable value in the mistakes that he/she helps you avoid.

There are actually multiple ways that you can steer your case badly. One way is by taking action, but then taking the wrong action.

Although not from Georgia, a driver’s recent unpaid overtime case is a good example. Two months after leaving her job with a transportation services company, the driver sued. Her lawsuit stated that she was seeking compensation for “monies arising out of nonpayment of wages.”

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In a line from a popular 1999 workplace comedy film, the main character described his workweek thusly: “I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I’m working… I’d say in a given workweek I only do about 15 minutes of real, actual work.” Idle time at work is a reality at many jobs. How your employer does (or doesn’t) credit that idle time when it comes to paying you — including overtime pay — potentially can be a basis for an employer’s legal liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act. If you think your employer has underpaid you in violation of the law, get in touch with an Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer right away.

Determining pay for workers’ idle time sometimes can present challenges. As an example, consider this unpaid overtime case involving employees of a federal government contractor.

The employer was an entity tasked with providing security on the flights the U.S. government provides to take certain deported immigrants back to their home countries. The employees were the security officers on those flights.

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For many people who need to pursue legal action for unpaid overtime, one of the biggest hurdles they must clear is establishing that they are employees and not independent contractors, as independent contractors are not entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Success in this regard involves utilizing the “economic reality test” established under federal law. Utilizing this test to your maximum benefit can be critical to your success, so it is vitally important that you have an experienced Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer on your side from the very start.

To get an idea of this “economic reality test” in action, there’s this recent FLSA case from the federal court for the Northern District of Georgia. The plaintiffs were maintenance workers who alleged that, over an extended period, they were deprived of substantial amounts of overtime pay.

The group of handymen did maintenance work for an entity created to provide maintenance and property rehab services to a residential property management company. R.K., one of the workers, alleged that he “worked an average of ’60-plus hours a week'” during the period from April 2018 to January 2019 but did not get paid any overtime.

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Your employer may engage in various tactics that result in your not getting the total pay you deserve, including when it comes to overtime pay. Those techniques may be intentional or they may be negligent but, either way, they may be a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and may entitle you to receive compensation. Time to act and seek that compensation is limited, however, so make sure you contact a knowledgeable Atlanta overtime lawyer right away if you think you have been illegally denied the overtime you deserve.

A case from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is a prime example. What started as an investigation into improper employment practices at a single golf driving range eventually expanded… by a great deal. By the time the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division finished, a Texas-based employer was on the hook for $750,000 in improperly unpaid overtime wages to more than 250 employers in 25 states. That group included 11 driving range employees here in the Atlanta area.

Of the $750,000, nearly $50,000 went to those 11 Georgia employees, including $16,000 to four employees at the Alpharetta driving range and nearly $33,000 to seven employees at the West Midtown location.

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If you work in many parts of the service industry, you know the importance of tips to your overall income. That’s because tipped workers’ base minimum “cash wage” is only $2.13 per hour under the Fair Labor and Standards Act. There are circumstances, though, where your employer is not entitled to pay you this lower wage, even if your job position is that of a tipped worker. If you think that you’ve been unfairly denied your proper wages, you should act without delay to contact an Atlanta minimum wage lawyer.

Some places have state laws that impose higher minimum wage obligations on employers than the FLSA does. Georgia is not one of those states. The federal law, though, does erect some rules to safeguard tipped workers. As a recent minimum wage case reminds us, one of those things is that, even if you work as a tipped restaurant server, your employer cannot pay you the tipped worker wage and then assign you to tasks that do not allow you to earn tips.

L.R., the plaintiff, worked as a server at a diner. According to the server, the employer required her to perform various tasks other than serving guests. These jobs included an array of things, ranging from re-stocking the salad bar to cleaning the restaurant to rolling silverware inside napkins. None of these tasks involved interacting with customers so none of the time spent on them presented an opportunity to earn a tip.

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There are many ways in which a Fair Labor Standards Act violation can occur. One of those is when your employer fails to pay you overtime for the work you did in excess of 40 hours in a week. This failure could mean missing out on a substantial amount of pay. Your employer may try to avoid paying and avoid liability by arguing that the FLSA does not entitle you to receive overtime pay. When that happens to you, fight back with an experienced Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer.

You probably already know that certain groups of workers are described as “exempt” when it comes to the overtime provisions of the FLSA. In other words, employers do not violate the law when they fail to pay those workers overtime. Generally, a lot of folks associate “exempt employee” jobs with “white collar” salaried positions. These workers aren’t the only ones who are exempt. Another group of exempt workers is agricultural workers.

As the overtime case of a fruit harvesting and hauling company based in Florida reveals, though, not all work done in connection with an agricultural operation is, in fact, covered by the agriculture exemption to the FLSA. In other words, just because you work in the agriculture business, that does not automatically mean you cannot be owed overtime pay.

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