Is Your Employer Cheating You Out of the Wages You Have Earned?

As an employee, you are entitled to be compensated for your hard work. In today’s economy, employers are increasingly demanding that their employees work longer hours and increase their productivity. They seek to exploit more work and time out of their employees without increasing their overhead costs. This can, and often does lead to the misclassification of employees as exempt from the overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), or an outright refusal to comply with the FLSA. Both result in the employer’s failure to properly compensate employees for the fruits of their labor. Employer demands that that employees work off-the-clock, refusal to pay employees for all hours and overtime hours worked, and the making of improper deductions to employees’ compensation may be actionable under the FLSA and/or state wage laws. Filing a wage or overtime claim may be easier than you think and the damages for the unpaid compensation may add up quicker than you imagined. Our firm handles wage claims across the country and has the experience and resources necessary to successfully handle class/collective action wage and hour lawsuits. We have litigated against some of the nation’s largest companies and many fortune 500 companies. We wish to help you receive any unpaid wages you are owed.

About the FLSA/Overtime Claims in General

The FLSA mandates that nearly all employees be compensated one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours they work in excess of 40 hours per week. There are also state wage and hour laws that provide similar protections and that forbid certain deductions from employees’ compensation. While these laws protect employees' rights, employers still attempt to evade their legal obligations in order to maximize company profits. If your employer has denied you compensation or overtime pay, you may have grounds for a wage claim under federal and/or state wage laws.

Helping You Get What You are Owed and What the Law Provides

Most employees do not know about or understand their legal rights concerning how they should be paid. You need experienced counsel to help you recover what you are owed. The FLSA permits employees to recover two years of unpaid overtime compensation (or up to three years of unpaid overtime compensation if the employers’ failure to pay compensation was willful). Additionally, in many cases, the FLSA and other overtime laws permit employees to recover liquidated damages, double the amount of unpaid overtime compensation due to the employees. In the event that an employee successfully litigates an FLSA claim, the law requires that the employer pay the employee’s attorney fees and costs in addition to his/her unpaid compensation. Even a mere fifteen minutes of unpaid compensation per day can add up to a substantial dollar amount quickly when considering the period for which unpaid wages may be recovered and that the amount of damages is doubled.

The FLSA and state wage and hour laws also permit employees to bring unpaid overtime lawsuits on behalf of the employees themselves and all other like employees (those employees that are “similarly situated”) for recovery of their unpaid wages. This type of action is commonly known as a collective/class action. When cases proceed forward on a collective/class basis, they may become extremely costly to employers.

Red Flags for Wage Claims

Common red flags that an employer may be failing to properly compensate its employees include:

  • Working off-the-clock
  • Labeling workers as "independent contractors" when they are really employees
  • Failing to include bonuses, commissions and/or incentive pay in employees’ overtime rates
  • Failing to pay bonuses or commissions
  • Failing to pay overtime, bonuses and/or commissions based on hours worked during the period in which the compensation was earned.
  • Being paid a flat salary regardless of the hours worked
  • Failing to pay for on-call time
  • Being paid a “bonus” or given “comp time” in lieu of overtime pay
  • Paying employees at their hourly rate for overtime hours
  • Failing to pay minimum wage
  • Misclassifying employees as exempt when their job duties do not justify such classification, such as not being paid a minimum of $455 dollars per week, not exercising “independent discretion and judgment” in their job, not having true supervisory authority, etc.
  • Failing to pay for breaks
  • Failing to pay for meal periods when employees are not fully relieved from their duties or when they miss their meal periods
  • Requiring that overtime be "pre-approved" before compensating for overtime hours worked
  • Not paying employees for all time actually worked, including time it takes to prepare for work such as putting on special clothing, cleaning and sanitizing tools or other work items, certain travel/walking time, filling out preliminary paper work
  • Requiring employees to clock out even though they work beyond that time
  • Not paying an employee for time spent traveling between two different job sites or customer locations
  • Requiring employees to take work home to complete and not compensating them for such time
  • Making improper deductions for damaged/lost property, fuel, vehicle maintenance, uniforms, cell phones, processing paperwork, etc.
  • Tip-pooling
  • Vacation/PTO forfeiture
  • Making partial day deductions to salaried employees pay
  • Making time sheet alterations
  • Requiring that employees record set hours worked when they actually work more hours
  • Time clock systems that automatically clock employees out for lunch
  • Being compensated by shift start and end times versus hours actually worked
  • Hiring illegal immigrants

Industries and Professions of Investigation

Our firm is currently investigating the following industries and professions

Being Labeled as Exempt from Overtime

Employees should not believe that they are not entitled to overtime compensation or that they are exempt simply because their employer labels them or informs them that they are exempt. Job titles and employer classification have little to do with whether employees are truly legally exempt from receiving overtime pay. Job duties, occupations, the type of work performed, etc. determine overtime eligibility and provide the real answer as to classification. If you feel that you may be misclassified and/or entitled to receive overtime, please contact our office immediately.

Legal Protections Afforded to Employees when they File Suit

The FLSA and other overtime and wage laws legally prohibit employers from retaliating against employees filing suit for unpaid overtime compensation or for challenging employers’ compensation practices and policies. It is illegal for employers to terminate an employee’s employment or to retaliate against an employee for exercising his/her rights under the FLSA and/or various state wage laws.

Attorney Fees and Costs to Pursue a Claim

Our firm typically does not charge our clients for the actual out of pocket costs of the litigation or attorney fees incurred in pursuing the claim unless we are able to obtain a recovery on their behalf. Put simply, if the employee does not get paid, we do not get paid.

In the event that we successfully litigate a, FLSA claim, the law requires that the employer who violated the FLSA to pay the employees’ attorney's fees costs of the litigation.

Please contact us today at 913-696-0925 to schedule a free and confidential consultation and case evaluation. We can schedule appointments after-hours for your convenience.

*We are licensed to practice in Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin state and federal courts and Oklahoma federal court.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Please note that you should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation and facts. Our firm invites you to communicate with us and we welcome your call, correspondence and e-mail. Contacting us however, does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to our office until an attorney-client relationship has been established and our office states that you may do so. Please read our full Disclosure and Disclaimer

Contact Us for a Free Consultation