As with recent years, wage and hour lawsuits continue to be one of the
most rapidly growing areas of employment litigation. Wage and hour lawsuit
often arise out of the situation where employers either accidetntally
or intentionally fail to pay workers what they are entitled to by misclassifying
them as independent contractors rather than employees, failing to pay
them overtime pay, or otherwise not paying them what they deserve.
If you have questions about wage and hour lawsuits, or believe that you
may not have received all the pay you deserve, it’s a good idea
to consult with a top
Georgia wage and hour attorney right away.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to nearly all places of employment
and generally requires that non-exempt employees be paid overtime at a
rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay. Employers may
try to get around paying overtime by either classifying a worker as an
“independent contractor” or labeling them exempt.
Whether you can lawfully be considered an independent contractor depends
on a variety of issues – primarily focused on issues of control.
The IRS explains: You are not an independent contractor if you perform
services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and
how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action.
What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details
of how the services are performed. The inappropriate classification of
a worker as an independent contractor may be the basis for a wage and
hour claim based on misclassification.
Likewise, classifying a worker as exempt rather than non-exempt can also
be problematic. Exempt employees are typically not entitled to overtime
pay regardless of the number of hours worked.
Misclassification lawsuits have steadily grown in numbers. 2013 saw an
increase by 10% in FLSA lawsuits filed as compared to 2012. It doesn’t
appear that these types of lawsuits are decreasing. Further, the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has become increasingly aggressive
investigating companies that misclassify employees.
However, if you believe you have not been paid all that you deserve, it
is not necessary to go through the sometimes-difficult process of filing
a claim with the EEOC. Rather, you may file a private lawsuit to begin
an investigation into your employer’s actions.
If other people at your company have also been denied overtime, you may
be able to file a special type of FLSA class action, known as a collective
action, which will help you bring the maximum pressure to bear on your
employer to change its ways and to pay you all the compensation you are owed.
For more information about wage and hour lawsuits, or if you believe you
may not have been paid all that you deserve, please contact the experienced
Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.