Both federal and Louisiana law require employers to pay their workers for all hours worked, including overtime hours at a time-and-a-half rate. While that seems simple enough, the laws and regulations regarding overtime pay are actually quite complicated, and the stakes are high. Charles Stiegler is an experienced New Orleans overtime lawyer who specializes in claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the Louisiana Wage Payment Act, and all other federal and state wage and hour laws.
Damages in unpaid overtime cases can be significant. The company can be required to pay all unpaid wages for the past three years, plus double damages as a penalty. Penalties can be even higher if there is an underpayment in an employee’s final paycheck. In that case, the employee may be entitled to continuing wages in the form of up to ninety days’ pay, or until the employer pays all money due. If the employee’s lawsuit is successful, both state and federal law require the employer to pay the employees’ attorney’s fees and costs of suit. With so much at stake, it is critical to consult with experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who knows this area of the law backwards and forwards.
Some common overtime violations include:
- Not paying time and a half for hours worked over 40 in a workweek;
- Assuming that all salaried workers are overtime exempt, no matter what job duties they perform;
- Paying a flat daily rate, no matter how many hours the employee works;
- Writing down the hours from an employee’s timesheet;
- Requiring employees to work through lunch without pay;
- Not including all types of payments (such as commissions) in the employee’s regular rate;
- Not paying for driving time or travel time during the workday;
- Not paying out earned vacation when an employee leaves the company; and
- Requiring employees to “volunteer” to work extra hours without pay.
These are just a few of the potential errors that employers commit when calculating workers’ wages and overtime. The fact that an employee is salaried does not always mean that he is exempt from overtime laws. Determining whether a worker is properly classified as overtime-exempt is complicated, and many companies fail to take all factors into consideration. Defining an employee’s working hours and calculating the proper regular rate for overtime purposes can be surprisingly tricky.
I spent years working at the defense-side finest labor and employment law firm in the country, where I specialized in class and collective actions involving unpaid wages and overtime. In my current practice, I offer that same big-firm quality of representation without the big-firm cost. I assist both employees and employers in lawsuits and disputes regarding wages, overtime, and commissions. I also review corporate pay policies and practices to ensure compliance with the law – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Call New Orleans Overtime Lawyer Charles Stiegler today at (504) 267-0777 or email him through the contact us page.
Click here to read Charles Stiegler’s blog posts about unpaid wages and overtime.