The federal government wants to make sure you get paid what you deserve
and that your employer is not taking advantage of you. In fact –
the federal government is so employee friendly that in certain situations
it will find public officials individually responsible for violations
of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The FLSA provides that all workers must be paid minimum wage and that “non-exempt”
employees are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times
their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in
any one work week. However, FLSA violations are rampant and many times
employers fail to pay workers the amount they are entitled to. If you
have questions about your pay or believe that you may not have received
all the compensation you deserve, it’s a good idea to consult with
Atlanta wage and hour attorney right away.
A recent case determined that a CEO of a private company could be held
personally liable for FLSA violations. Another recent case found that
public officials could also be found individually liable.
In the situation involving the private company –
Irizarry v. Catsimatidis – employees sued the chairman and CEO of Gristede’s Foods,
Inc., John Catsimatidis personally to enforce payment of an overtime pay
settlement. The 2d Circuit Court confirmed the District Court’s
finding that that Catsimatidis was an employer under the FLSA and as a
result, was personally responsible to the employees. The court based its
decision on the fact that Catsimatidis was active involved in running
the company. This included his having personal contact with the employees,
stores, vendors, and customers. Also, Catsimatidis signed paychecks and
supervised certain managerial personnel. This level of involvement created
a employer/employee relationship and as a result, he was liable for paying
damages after the business defaulted on its payments.
Similarly in the Kansas case,
Lumry v. State, the Kansas Court of Appeals looked at whether public officials could
be held individually liable when acting on behalf of the agency they worked
for. The case involved the situation of an employee claiming he was fired
in retaliation for asserting his rights under the FLSA. The court found
that public officials could be held personally liable if the individuals
sued had the power to hire and fire workers, (2) supervised and controlled
employees’ work schedules or conditions of employment, (3) determined
the rate and method of payment, and (4) maintained employment records.
Although the court found that the individuals sued in this case were not
personally liable, the more important finding is that individuals may
be found personally liable and responsible to pay damages if they violate
your rights under the FLSA.
For more information or if you have a questions about your minimum wage
or overtime pay rights, please contact the experienced
Atlanta wage and hour lawyers The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.