News reports that overtime complaints – claims filed by workers based
on violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – have hit
record numbers. Pursuant to the FLSA, non-exempt workers are entitled
to overtime wages in the amount of one and one-half times their regular
rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek.
The problem is many workers who are entitled to overtime compensation
are denied all of the pay they are entitled to – often due to their
employer misclassifying them, either intentionally or mistakenly.
Misclassification is a common occurrence with determining who is exempt
vs. non-exempt a close call in many situations. For many individuals,
being entitled to overtime pay can make a significant difference in his
or her weekly take home pay. If you have questions concerning your classification
and whether you may be entitled to additional compensation for overtime
pay, it’s important to consult with a top
Georgia overtime pay attorney. The recent
overtime pay article notes that the number of FLSA complaints has skyrocketed, with
more than 7000 overtime violation lawsuits filed in 2011. 7064 cases have
already been filed this year, putting it on track for an all-time high.
The reasons for increased lawsuits are several, including confusion concerning
overtime laws and the weak economy leading to more employers cutting corners.
Overtime violations hit low-wage workers even harder. In a study by the
National Employment Law Project, 77% of low-wage workers who reported
working more than 40 hours in a week did not received the overtime compensation
they were entitled to. For workers who put in more than 10 hours a day,
93% of workers reported not receiving the required overtime pay. Overtime
violations were not the only FLSA infraction, 21% of worker reported making
less than the required minimum wage. According to the study, the average
low wage worker loses out on $58 per week and $3,000 per year due to wage
violations by employers.
Fortunately, the federal government has started cracking down on employer
wage violations. The Department of Labor is focusing on industries —
such as restaurant, hospitality, janitorial, health care and day care
— where wage theft is believed to be widespread. In the last fiscal
year, the Department of Labor has collected over $224 million in back
wages for more than 275,000 workers.
If you believe you have not received all the compensation you are entitled
to, it’s important to contact an experienced
Atlanta overtime compensation lawyer at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC right away.