Articles Posted in Unpaid Overtime

On Friday the U.S. Labor Department defended its authority to use salary levels to decide who was eligible for overtime pay.

Under U.S. President Donald Trump, the Labor Department has continued to fight a challenge to an Obama administration-era rule to raise the pay threshold for overtime eligibility.

The Labor Department told a federal appeals court on Friday it had the power to use salaries to set thresholds for mandatory overtime pay, without advocating for the $47,500 maximum salary level set by the department under Obama.

The Labor Department is challenging a November decision from a federal judge in Texas that blocked the Obama rule, a decision that the department said could prevent it from setting a new threshold below that set by the Obama administration.

The Obama rule was expected to extend overtime pay eligibility to more than 4 million salaried workers. Nevada and 20 other states sued last year to block the rule.

Business groups criticized the increase as too drastic and costly, potentially forcing employers to convert salaried workers to hourly wages.

Trump’s Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta said during his confirmation hearing in March that the correct threshold might be around $33,000. The Labor Department took initial steps earlier this week to begin developing a new threshold.

In its Friday brief to the New Orleans-based 5th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, the Labor Department made it clear it did not support the salary threshold developed under Obama. The department then told the court it was “reluctant” to move forward with the rulemaking necessary to set a new threshold as long as its authority was in question.

Nevada and the other states have said that the use of a salary threshold to determine overtime eligibility has been controversial for decades, but appeals courts allowed it because it had been set low enough to exempt management workers.

According to the states,  the Obama administration rule is far more drastic, expanding overtime pay to tens of thousands of state employees.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), most employees must be paid at least minimum wage for regular work hours and receive overtime pay when total weekly hours reach more than 40. The state of Florida follows the overtime rules of the FLSA, time and one half regular pay rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a regular work week. Overtime can be calculated by taking your regular rate of pay and multiplying it by 1.5.

As it stands currently, job titles do not determine eligibility for overtime pay. Wages, duties and occupations decipher whether one can be paid overtime. Right now, any employee that makes a yearly salary of less than $23,600 can be awarded overtime pay. Non-management employees performing manual labor or repair, secretarial, kitchen or clerical work are usually entitled to collecting overtime pay. With several exceptions, all hourly paid employees should be entitled to overtime. Most commission-based workers can be awarded overtime as well. Salaried employees that earn less than $455 per week are entitled to overtime. Salaried employees that earn more than $455 per workweek can receive overtime unless their job duties earn them exemption like executive, professional, administrative, outside sales or computer-related occupations.

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A Hallandale Beach man alleges he was not paid a bonus upon a completion of a project as promised.

The man filed a complaint on June 13 in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Broward County against the construction company alleging breach of contract.

According to the complaint, the man worked for the construction company from January to December 2016. The suit states he was assigned to a project in Jensen Beach and was promised a 20 percent bonus of his salary upon its completion, or $19,000.

The man holds the construction company responsible because they allegedly failed to honor their obligation and pay for the extra compensation upon completion of the project.

The man is seeking damages and unpaid wages, plus costs of suit, attorney’s fees and further relief as the court may deem just.

Florida employers often promise their employees a bonus as a way of motivating them to work harder or to create additional incentives that benefit the employer.

There are two types of bonuses: discretionary and non-discretionary. A discretionary bonus is basically a gift, where the employee’s performance is not a factor. A common example of this is a Christmas bonus. In most cases, an employee has no legal right to recover a discretionary bonus.

A non-discretionary bonus is tied to an employee’s performance, and once that condition is met or satisfied, the employee is entitled to that bonus. If you have been denied a non-discretionary bonus, and you have satisfied the terms, you may have a legal right to take action against your employer.

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A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit accusing the NFL and team owners of conspiring to suppress wages for cheerleaders lacks evidence to support that claim.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed the lawsuit by a former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader. The lawsuit sought class action status on behalf of all NFL cheerleaders.

The lawsuit was among a spate of legal actions in recent years accusing NFL teams of failing to pay cheerleaders for hours they spent practicing and making public appearances.

California legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown two years ago requires cheerleaders receive at least minimum wage and overtime and sick leave if they work for professional sports teams based in California.

The lawsuit before Alsup claimed that cheerleaders received only a flat, per-game fee. It also said the NFL and its teams conspired to prohibit cheerleaders from seeking employment with other professional cheerleading teams and from discussing their earnings with each other.

Alsup said he would expect at least some evidence to support a conspiracy on the scale alleged in the lawsuit — possibly a former NFL employee coming forward to “provide the details of ‘who, did what, to whom (or with whom), where, and when’ regarding some actual conspiratorial meeting, communication or agreement.”

The lawsuit, instead, alleges similar policies for cheerleaders among NFL teams, Alsup said. The judge said those policies could just as easily have been implemented by each team independently.

This case is certainly interesting. The cheerleaders allegedly only made about $100 per game and, in many cases, were not paid for mandatory public events or rehearsal time. In stark contrast, NFL players collectively earned $6.4 billion last year while NFL team mascots annually make between $25,000 and $60,000, often with benefits.

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The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to pay $3.8 million in back wages to Florida workers for violating minimum wage and overtime laws as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The federal agency said last month that the back wages will be paid to more than 16,000 workers at the Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Florida.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division says Disney deducted uniform expenses that caused some workers’ hourly wages to fall below the federal minimum wage.

The division also says Disney didn’t pay workers for duties performed before their shifts started and after their shifts ended.

The agency says Disney cooperated with their investigation.

By law, employees must be rightfully compensated for the services and labor they provide to an employer. Even salaried workers may be entitled to overtime pay, depending on the circumstances. Our Florida Unpaid Wage & Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you understand if you can collect any wages that you believe are owed to you.

We can help if you are seeking back pay for any of the following:

  • Illegal wage deductions
  • Violation of minimum wage laws
  • Unpaid overtime, bonuses, and tips
  • Delay in paychecks

When it comes to unpaid wages, it is best to keep a detail record of what your employer owes you. Your employer should keep their own records of hours employees worked and their wages. If your employer cannot provide these records to dispute your claims, then a court is more likely to side with the employee.

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A Maine dairy company recently learned how a comma can change everything. In O’Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy, it was shown that a comma can go a long way to avoid ambiguity.

In this case, a group of dairy delivery drivers sued Oakhurst, claiming the company failed to pay them overtime under Maine’s wage and hour laws.

Oakhurst argued that dairy delivery drivers are overtime-exempt under Maine’s “Exemption F.” Under Exemption F, Maine’s overtime law does not apply to:The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods.

The outcome of this case came down to whether the drivers engaged in “packing for shipment or distribution.” The drivers argued that this phrase refers to a single activity of “packing,” whether the packing be for shipment or for distribution. Since the drivers did not pack food, the drivers reasoned, Exemption F did not apply to them. Oakhurst argued that the phrase actually refers to two different activities: “packing for shipment” and “distribution.” As the drivers clearly engaged in the distribution of food, Exemption F did apply to them.

Based on the plain language of the statute, the district court ruled in favor of Oakhurst.

However, on appeal, the First Circuit found the statute ambiguous. And with no other way to resolve the ambiguity, the First Circuit accepted the drivers’ narrower construction of the exemption and reversed the district court’s original ruling.

Federal law dictates that hourly (nonexempt) workers must be paid overtime for every hour worked over 40 hours in their work week. Regardless of these laws, some employers try to get creative and use illegal tactics to avoid paying workers overtime pay, 1.5 times their usual hourly rate.

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will pay $140,000 to 185 interns who worked for their fashion brand to settle a wage theft lawsuit filed in 2015, according to court documents filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

Each intern will receive a $530 payment from the former child star twins and the rest of the money will cover lawyers’ fees, if approved by a judge.

The 31-year-old sisters are worth more than $300 million.

The former interns, who filed the suit against the Olsens’ Dualstar Entertainment company, claimed that they should have been paid minimum wage plus overtime, because they were doing the kind of work their paid colleagues had done but without compensation.

 

One of the unpaid interns said she clocked 50 hours a week between May 2012 and September 2012 at the company. Her responsibilities included inputting data into spreadsheets, making tech sheets, running personal errands for paid employees, organizing materials, cleaning, photocopying and sewing, according to court documents.

The Olsens founded Dualstar when they were just 6. The company makes everything from videos, books and dolls to cosmetics and clothes. They started their fashion brand The Row in 2006.

All employees have a right to be paid at least minimum wage for the work they perform. In Florida, the current minimum wage is $8.10. Unpaid internships get a little tricky in the eyes of the law. The United States Department of Labor has set the following criteria for unpaid internships:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If every single one of the factors listed above are met, an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the intern.

If you are currently an unpaid intern, or have completed an unpaid internship, and you think you are/were an actual employee, our Florida Unpaid Wage & Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We will investigate the facts of your case and if we feel you have a valid claim, we will push to get you the fair financial compensation you deserve.

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A Broward County man says his former employer did not pay for all of the overtime hours he worked as an insulation installer.

The man filed a complaint on Feb. 28. According to his complaint, between July 2014 and March 2017, he worked for more than 40 hours per week. He says the company failed to pay him any overtime premiums at a rate of time-and-one-half for working more than 40 hours per week. He added that he was terminated in retaliation for complaining about the practice.

No one wants to be duped out of their rightfully earned wages. As an employee, you work hard for your wages and expect that your employer will pay you any and all wages you are owed, including overtime pay.

If you know you earned overtime pay, but were denied overtime wages by your employer, you need to enlist the help of an Unpaid Overtime Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible. We cannot stress enough how important it is to act fast in these cases. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of being unable to file a legitimate claim against your employer for unpaid wages.

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A Philadelphia man is suing his former employer, Hampton Inn – Pine Grove, alleging discrimination, retaliation, unpaid wages, violation of Workers’ Compensation acts and wrongful termination.

The man filed a complaint on Jan. 30 alleging that the employer discharged him from employment for raising a concern about a company policy.

According to the complaint, the man suffered damages from being required to report to work earlier than his scheduled shift without being paid for those hours. He holds his former employer responsible because they retaliated against him by terminating his employment.

Florida is an at-will employment state, which means employers can fire workers for any reason except those that are based on discrimination or in violation of an employment contract. Just because Florida is an at-will employment state does not mean workers do not have rights. In fact, if you were fired for unlawful or illegal reasons, you may be able to take action against your employer.

Our Florida Wrongful Termination Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can start helping you right away. We can review your claim and determine if your employer violated your rights in any way. If you were wrongfully terminated, we will make it our mission to hold your employer accountable.

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A Florida Turnpike road ranger alleges he worked 2.5 hours of overtime per week and was never compensated for it.

The man filed a complaint on Feb. 26 against Florida Turnpike Services LLC alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the man alleges that he worked for more than 40 hours per week as a road ranger without being paid any overtime compensation. He holds Florida Turnpike Services LLC responsible because they failed to pay him any overtime premiums at a rate of time-and-one-half.

A Broward County employer is accused of not paying an air conditioning installer and duct cleaner the proper rate for overtime work.

The man filed a complaint on Jan. 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against USA Air Duct Cleaners LLC.

According to the complaint, the man alleges that he worked for more than 40 hours without being paid any overtime compensation during his employment from April to October 2014. He holds USA Air Duct Cleaners LLC responsible because the they failed to pay him any overtime wages at a rate of time-and-one-half despite working more than 40 hours per week. According to the suit, he alleges he worked between 560 to 676 hours of overtime.

Overtime is defined by the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The compensation for hours worked more than 40 is 1.5 times the normal hourly rate. For example, if an employee makes $10 per hour, then they should be paid $15 per hour for all hours over 40 worked in that workweek. A work week is seven consecutive 24-hour periods, or 168 hours (24X7). The workweek can start on any day of the week.

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