Articles Posted in Unpaid Overtime

In 2014, a children’s author released her new book for 4-7 year-olds, entitled I Can Follow the Rules. The benefit of following the rules is a lesson taught from a young age. Failure to follow the rules has its own set of potential consequences. That’s true whether you’re a student in pre-K or a litigant in federal court. This is a huge reason why it pays to have a knowledgeable Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer on your side: both to ensure you’re in compliance and to utilize your opposition’s failure to satisfy the rules to your maximum benefit.

You can see what we mean in a recent federal case regarding an allegation of unpaid overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The worker, V.C., had held a sales professional role for an Alpharetta hair restoration clinic until mid-November 2019 when the clinic fired her.

After that termination, the saleswoman sued the clinic and its CEO for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, alleging that the employer improperly withheld commissions and failed to pay her overtime compensation that she’d earned.

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Many employers derive substantial economic benefits from classifying workers as independent contractors. The classification means those are not entitled to receive overtime pay, a minimum wage, or additional benefits (like health insurance) that the employer provides only to employees. Due to these economic realities, many employers will classify workers as independent contractors when the nature of their work actually indicates they are employees. If you believe your employer has wrongfully classified you as an independent contractor, you may be entitled to recover compensation in a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit. A knowledgeable Atlanta employee misclassification lawyer can tell you more about your options.

Even if your employer classified you as an employee, you may still have been harmed by misclassification. Employers may misclassify non-exempt employees as exempt, as the latter classification means that those workers are not owed time-and-a-half overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. The exemption categories are professional, administrative, executive, outside sales, and computer-related.

P.F. and J.S. were a pair of property damage investigators who alleged in an FLSA lawsuit that they were among that latter category — non-exempt employees misclassified as exempt.

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Employers in the auto services industry improperly paying their workers in ways that do not comply with federal minimum wage and/or overtime laws is not uncommon. In fiscal year 2021 alone, The U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division performed more than 500 investigations of employers in the auto services industry. In total, the Labor Department found that more than 3,500 workers had been illegally shortchanged. The division recovered more than $4 million in back wages. If you think your employer has illegally miscalculated your overtime rate, your compensable hours, or otherwise violated the law, it is well worth your while to contact an experienced Atlanta minimum wage and unpaid overtime lawyer.

Most recently, the Wage and Hour Division launched an investigation into a tire and auto service shop in Canton. At the investigation’s end, the Labor Department concluded that the shop had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by improperly underpaying 19 workers a total of more than $161,000.

One violation related to withheld paychecks. For some of the workers, the employer did not pay them anything during their first pay period. The employers say the held-back paychecks were a uniform deposit. The Labor Department said it was an FLSA violation.

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Every winning case begins with several essential ingredients. One of those is a well-written complaint filed in the correct court. If you are someone who believes that your employer has denied you the overtime pay you were legally owed, then you should get in touch with an experienced Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer, who can take the steps necessary to ensure that you have the well-written complaint and the powerful evidence you need for success.

That’s especially true if your case involves some unique facts. In some job settings, the total number of hours you worked can be fairly black-and-white. Other times it’s not, like when you’re a worker whose job mandated a certain number of “on-call” hours?

That was the circumstance for several employees of a pathology service entity in Gwinnett County. The workers put in an 8am-4pm schedule weekdays in an office in Lawrenceville. In addition, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that they had “on-call” hours, which were “from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. two or three nights a week and all weekend twice a month,” according to the workers’ lawsuit.

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Regrettably, employee misclassifications occur all too frequently. Sometimes, they may be the result of good-faith errors. Other times, though, the employer knew (or should have known) that it was not following the law. When that happens, you can seek a finding in your unpaid overtime case that your employer willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, which can greatly enhance the compensation you can receive. If you think your employer willfully broke the law, you need an experienced Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer to help you get everything to which the law entitles you.

J.M. was one of those people. She worked for a company that provided “in-home healthcare and companion services.” According to her lawsuit, J.M. frequently worked more than 80 hours a week. However, she received only $1,500 per month for her work. The employer allegedly never paid J.M. any overtime for any of the hours she worked.

The employer did this by classifying J.M. as an independent contractor rather than an employee. J.M.’s lawsuit asserted that her independent contractor status was a misclassification, that the employer knew (or ought to have known) it was a misclassification, and that the employer willfully violated the FLSA.

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Sometimes, some people can lull themselves into a false sense of confidence when it comes to litigating their unpaid overtime, minimum wage, improper classification, or other Fair Labor Standards Act case. They may tell themselves they don’t need an experienced Atlanta employment lawyer. They might say to themselves “I worked 40 hours each week and I only got paid $200 per week, so how hard can it be to present — and win — my minimum wage case?”

Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. Even cases that seem to have very clear-cut facts in your favor often present thorny issues of law and/or court procedure that require (or at least can benefit from) the deft touch knowledgeable legal representation will provide.

Take, for example, the FLSA case of H.T., a man who worked as a builder/installer for a South Georgia construction company. The construction company allegedly “controlled all aspects” of the builder’s work, including choosing the construction sites where the builder worked and assigning the tasks the builder completed while there. The company also set the builder’s work schedule, provided him with all the necessary materials and equipment, and controlled the amount of payment the builder received, according to H.T.’s lawsuit.

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In certain areas of business, sports, or life in general, it is often said that “timing is everything.” If you are someone whose employer has failed to pay you appropriate overtime compensation or pay you in accordance with minimum wage laws, timing isn’t everything but it is undeniably a crucially important thing. Waiting too long can mean a case outcome where you recover nothing, regardless of how strong your proof is. If you’ve illegally underpaid, don’t wait to act. Go out as soon as possible to talk to a knowledgeable Atlanta unpaid overtime or minimum wage lawyer about your situation.

A recent overtime and minimum wage case from a federal court in neighboring Florida is a reminder of how important a thorough understanding of how the statutes of limitations, and the deadlines they impose, are.

In that case, J.R. worked at a motel in Lakeland, Florida, starting in 2010. According to her complaint, the woman averaged roughly 98 per week on the job. In return, the motel owner allegedly paid her anywhere from $0 to $30 per week.

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When your employer fails to pay you what you’re owed under the law, you inevitably are going to face certain challenges in getting that compensation. Having your employer engage in legal subterfuge to avoid paying you should not be one of them, but it does happen. Any time you need to pursue legal action for the pay you’ve wrongfully been denied, but especially when your employer has engaged in illegal steps to try to escape paying, you need the advocacy of a knowledgeable Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer.

One of those techniques may be for your employer simply to shutter their old business and create a new one at the same location, run by the same people, doing the same work.

A pair of paralegals who worked at a law office in Miami recently filed a legal action where they claimed that that was what happened to them. According to the paralegals, the employer improperly failed to pay them proper regular and overtime compensation, so they quit in the summer of 2019 and initiated a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit in federal court.

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Lots of workers know the drill. Officially, your workday begins at 8:00 am or 9:00 am or whenever, but it doesn’t really begin at that time. “Eight o’clock” means you have to be ready to take calls or manufacture items or enter data into a computer at 8:00, which means that your workday actually begins at 7:50 or 7:45 or 7:whatever, when you have to be at your workstation and get started prepping for the tasks that must start at the top of the hour. What you may not know, however, is that those minutes prepping may potentially count in calculating overtime pay and in determining whether your pay meets the minimum wage. If your employer isn’t counting this time, it is possible your employer is shortchanging you in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Get in touch with an Atlanta minimum wage and overtime lawyer to find out more.

The law says that certain forms of preparation are things that must be counted when calculating your total hours worked. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employers’ failure “to count and properly pay for pre-shift work is a common violation” of the FLSA and other related federal laws.

A recent example of this kind of FLSA violation involved a company based in neighboring Florida that the Labor Department cited for violating the law, affecting dozens of workers, the Miami Herald reported.

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Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act — in the form of unpaid overtime — occur frequently. Some of them may be an employer’s good-faith mistake in the calculation of a worker’s overtime hours, or they may be more nefarious things like intentionally misclassifying workers or forcing workers to work “off the clock.” Either way, it is against the law and, if you are a worker harmed as a result of unpaid overtime, you have the right to take action and should get in touch with an experienced Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer right away to find out more about the legal options that exist for you.

A business in Georgia and South Carolina was one of those entities that the federal government recently caught violating the FLSA. The business, a tire and auto repair shop, had three locations in Georgia (Pooler, Darien, and Dublin) and two in South Carolina.

There were actually multiple ways that the shop violated federal overtime laws, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. For one thing, the shop required employees to complete after-hours service calls but, when it came to calculating those workers’ overtime pay, the employer did not properly factor in those after-hours service calls.

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