Fort Worth overtime lawyers represent clients in overtime pay issues in Fort Worth and other parts of Texas. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must pay all nonexempt employees minimum wage and overtime pay. Employees earn overtime pay under the FLSA for each hour worked in a workweek over forty hours. The FLSA mandates calculating overtime pay at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for each hour. The overtime pay calculation is not always as simple as it seems. When an employer fails to pay overtime the employee has the right to recover lost wages and other damages, including attorneys fees. An employee who believes overtime pay is due but not paid should speak to a Fort Worth overtime lawyer right away.
Overtime Pay in Fort Worth, Texas
As any employee who worked overtime knows, overtime pay can add up quickly for an employee. It’s a good way to help cover bills or save money when regular pay doesn’t cut it. That also means employers feel the pain of paying a higher rate of pay to nonexempt employees. That is an incentive for some employers to try to avoid overtime pay. Employers are less crafty than they think about skirting overtime pay regulations. If you find yourself in one of these scams you should contact Fort Worth overtime lawyers. Here are some of the common scams:
Shifting hours between workweeks
Sometimes employers try to evade overtime pay by moving hours over forty hours off one week and put them on the next week to turn overtime hours into regular pay hours. A lot of times this accompanies a schedule cut to make room for the shifted hours. This card game is explicitly prohibited by the FLSA. If this happens, call an overtime attorney right away.
Employers who consider themselves craftier sometimes try to shuffle the workweek rather than shuffle hours. What happens is they will change the start date of workweeks going forward so a big day of overtime moves into a “short” week and the employees end up with two normal weeks. For example, a company with a Sunday-Saturday schedule has a big weekend of overtime hours. The employer will change the new workweek to start on Friday (ending Thursday) that week knowing it will create a short week running Sunday-Friday which turns those overtime hours into regular hours. This too is expressly prohibited when the purpose is to avoid overtime pay.
Asking employees to work off the clock
Sometimes employers will come right out and ask employees to work off the clock to avoid overtime pay. Usually the employee receives a promise of comp time or a bonus down the road. Only public employees can be paid in comp time in lieu of overtime pay (although Congress is considering changing that). A bonus is nice but the FLSA requires overtime paid with the workweek in which it is worked.
Cutting hours off the time records
Sometimes employers just make time disappear. This isn’t magic. It’s against the law. Employers have a duty to maintain correct time records. Cutting off hours violates both that duty and the duty to pay overtime pay. If your employer does this you need to start keeping your own time records and contact a Fort Worth overtime lawyer ASAP.
Misclassifying employees to avoid overtime pay
Some employees are exempt from overtime pay provisions. These include most management, professional employees and several other classes. Employers like to classify employees as salaried because the overtime pay requirement does not apply to most salaried, exempt employees. Employees are not salaried and exempt merely by receiving a salary or because the employer says so. Employers also will classify employees as independent contractors because an independent contractor does not receive benefits or overtime pay unless it is in the contract.
What an employer can do to avoid overtime pay in Texas
This list is fairly obvious. If an employer wants to avoid paying overtime pay then it should not work nonexempt employees over forty hours. Employers are free to cut work hours off a schedule to avoid the employee working over forty. Assuming a CBA does not require the employee receive a certain number of hours in a week. If an employer knows, from keeping accurate time records, you have already worked forty hours then it can cut your remaining hours for the workweek. Even if the employer cuts hours specifically to eliminate overtime pay.
Contact Fort Worth overtime lawyers
There are many more overtime violations an employer may commit under the FLSA. If you believe you should receive overtime pay that you have not then you should contact a Fort Worth overtime lawyer about your potential claim. Overtime pay claims have a statute of limitations and failing to act within that period may result in losing your claim.