Fair Labor Standards Act
Employers must follow numerous federal laws for the benefit of their employees. Unfortunately, too many employers are more concerned with protecting their profits than compensating their employees for their hard work. Most workers are entitled to a minimum wage, overtime, and various other baseline protections provided by federal laws. If your employer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, the New York City FLSA lawyers at the Arce Law Group are ready to help you seek damages. We have substantial experience in this area of the law, and our employment attorneys can craft a strategy suited to your particular situation.Know and Assert Your Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets minimum standards for minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping, and child employment for employers around the country. Each state may also have its own labor laws that provide greater protection for workers, but they may not have less than what is required by the FLSA, which is a federal law. For example, a New York state law requires employers to pay a higher minimum wage than the FLSA does.
Under the FLSA, employers must pay nonexempt workers to whom the law applies a minimum wage of at least $7.25 per hour, as of July 24, 2009. Employees under 20 years old must be paid a minimum wage of at least $4.25 an hour for the first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with a particular employer. After working for 40 hours in a workweek, nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay that is paid at 1 1/2 times the employee's regular pay rate under the FLSA. The FLSA does not require overtime for work that you perform on weekends or holidays, unless the work for those days counts as overtime.
Employers are allowed to pay their employees on a piece-rate basis, but an employee needs to receive the equivalent of minimum wage and overtime for any hours worked over the 40-hour work week. Employers of tipped employees may claim a tip credit and pay a direct wage of at least $2.13 per hour.
The FLSA covers most jobs, but certain jobs are considered "exempt" and are excluded from coverage. Employees whose jobs are governed by the FLSA may be considered exempt employees or nonexempt employees. Nonexempt employees must be paid overtime, while exempt employees need not be. Most of the time, whether you are an exempt employee depends on the kind of work that you do, how much you are paid, and how you are paid.
Generally, job titles do not tell you if someone is exempt. Instead, an employee's job duties will dictate whether they are exempt. There are exemptions to the FLSA for executive, administrative, professional, computer, and outside sales employees. To qualify for an executive employee exemption, for example, you need to be paid on a salary basis at a rate that is $455 per week or more, your primary job must be managing the employer's enterprise or a customarily recognized subdivision or department of it, you must regularly direct two or more other full-time employees or the equivalent, and you must be empowered to hire or fire other employees or have significant input into the change of status of other employees. Some jobs are also specifically excluded from overtime coverage under the language of the FLSA, such as employees of movie theaters.
One challenge in FLSA violation cases involving overtime is that employer records may not provide sufficient information about how much pay was lost. If an employer does not keep accurate records of your work time, you will only need to establish that you performed work for which you were improperly compensated and produce enough evidence from which a fair and reasonable inference as to the extent and amount of that work may be drawn. Once you give a reasonable approximation, the burden shifts to your employer to either give evidence about exactly how much work you performed or give evidence to undermine the reasonableness of the inferences.Consult an Experienced FLSA Lawyer in New York City
It is important to hold your employer accountable if it has subjected you to wage and hour and overtime violations. The New York City FLSA attorneys at the Arce Law Group can help you file a lawsuit in this situation. We represent people in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, and we also have offices in both Newark and Philadelphia, from which we can serve employees in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Call us at 212-248-0120 or use our online form to set up a free consultation. We also can help you if you need a wrongful termination attorney or assistance with another employment claim.