Unpaid Overtime: The Answers to 5 Legal Questions

Unpaid Overtime: The Answers To 5 Legal Questions

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Individuals receive overtime pay when they work over 40 hours in a workweek. Anything above 40 hours entitles them to time-and-one-half pay, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers who don’t provide this pay engage in wage theft, and employees may sue to recover the money owed to them. However, only certain employees qualify for overtime pay. What do workers need to understand about overtime pay?

In this article, you will learn more and enhance your understanding of unpaid overtime, which provides answers to five important legal questions.

What Qualifies as Unpaid Overtime? 

When an employee works over 40 hours in a week and doesn’t receive extra pay for those hours worked over 40, they may sue to recoup the unpaid overtime. Employers must pay the appropriate rate of pay for all hours an employee works. Executives and professionals, however, don’t qualify for overtime pay under current law. Other workers also remain exempt from overtime pay laws. Salaried workers fall under this category. 

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

Employees must sue within a specified period if they wish to be reimbursed for unpaid overtime. Under current federal law, an employee may only bring a claim for unpaid overtime for a two-year period. There are exceptions to this, however. When an employer willfully doesn’t pay overtime pay, the employee has three years to file a suit. In addition, certain states extend the statute of limitations. It’s best to consult Employment Law Attorneys Near Me to learn the statute of limitations for your state.

If you decide to hire an attorney, choosing an attorney with many years of experience and a track record should be your priority. This is because if you hire an attorney who does not have the knowledge and the capacity to win, it can adversely affect you. There are many attorneys in every state, but only a few of them can really deliver. The Larrimer & Larrimer law firm has extensive expertise defending employees in wage payment claims and has secured back wages and other remedies for hundreds of underpaid workers.

How Does a Worker File a Claim? 

Employees who believe a company owes them unpaid overtime need to contact the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. This agency investigates unpaid wages and enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act. If this division finds the company owes the worker unpaid wages, they pursue the claim for the worker. When an employer violates state overtime laws, but not federal ones, the worker files the claim with their state labor office. Workers also have the option of hiring an attorney to pursue the claim. 

How Does a Worker Prove They Are Owed Unpaid Overtime? 

An employee bears the responsibility of proving they didn’t receive overtime wages for the overtime hours they worked. To do so, they need to keep records of when they worked and the wages they received. Employers must keep records of when employees work. If an employer cannot provide these records, the employee may need to testify or submit an affidavit outlining the hours they worked. Attorneys can assist employees in gathering and presenting evidence to establish their case. This process is particularly beneficial for private sector employees.

For federal employees experiencing unpaid overtime issues, seeking assistance from EEOC attorneys for federal employees is advisable. These attorneys can help federal employees document their unpaid overtime hours, file a formal complaint with supporting evidence, and navigate through the investigation and potential legal proceedings against their employer.

What Type of Compensation Can an Employee Expect? 

Employees often hesitate to file an unpaid overtime lawsuit because they don’t want to spend more in legal fees than they will recoup. However, the typical unpaid overtime lawsuit settlement includes the money owed to the employee but not paid, interest on the unpaid wages, and attorney’s fees. Some states require employers to pay liquidated damages, also known as double damages, on unpaid overtime pay. Furthermore, some states penalize employers for engaging in wage theft, and this penalty may be equal to one month of unpaid wages. 

If you worked overtime and didn’t receive the correct compensation, speak with an attorney. They will help you recover the funds owed to you and any additional compensation that is owed by the employer. Employers must treat workers fairly, and it falls on employees to ensure they do. Begin filing an unpaid overtime claim today to hold your employer accountable for their actions. 

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