Los Angeles Overtime Pay Lawyer
American workers are paid in a number of ways. Some are contractors, typically charging a specific amount for their work over a set period of time or for a specific project. Others are paid a salary, which is a consistent amount for their work. Still others are paid hourly and receive a set amount per hour of work that they perform. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs the wage and hour laws in the United States. FLSA dictates that covered workers must be paid “overtime” for all hours worked over 40 hours in any given workweek.
Understanding Overtime Pay in California
Overtime is defined as one and one-half (150%) of an employee’s standard hourly rate. For example, if an employee’s usual rate is $20 per hour, his or her overtime rate would be one and one-half times that amount – or $30 per hour. FLSA does not dictate how many hours an employee may work in a workweek. However, employers must pay overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a 168-hour (seven consecutive days) workweek.
FLSA dictates that employers may not discriminate on the basis of race, skin color, age, sex, sexual orientation, or other similar factors and stipulates that employers must make reasonable accommodations for religious needs and disabilities. However, FLSA does not require breaks, meal periods, vacation pay, holiday pay, sick pay, or weekend/night work pay for employees. These things are largely considered agreements between the employer and the employee. Some states have specific laws that govern these types of compensation.
When employers violate FLSA or state wage and hour laws and do not pay employees proper overtime when required, they are liable for any resulting lawsuits from the affected employees.
Suing for Owed Overtime Pay
If you are rightfully owed overtime pay for your hours worked over 40 in a workweek, your employer is required to pay you at the appropriate rate for that time if your employment is nonexempt from FLSA. You will need a competent and experienced Los Angeles overtime pay attorney on your side. If you succeed in an overtime dispute, you can receive compensation including:
- Back pay for the overtime pay you should have rightfully received. In some cases, a judge may require that the employer pay damages equal to your owed back pay amount in addition to the overtime pay, effectively awarding you double the back pay you are owed.
- Front pay. If you were fired or otherwise coerced into leaving your job, you can argue for reinstatement. This is common in employment discrimination cases, but disputes concerning overtime pay often result in termination as well. When reinstatement is not possible, the court may award front pay in lieu of reinstatement. Front pay is what you would have been reasonably expected to have earned between the time of your termination and the judgment of your case. It may also extend to the time the court reasonably expects it to take you to secure new employment.
- Damages for discrimination. In some cases, an employer may attempt to deprive an employee of earned overtime pay due to factors such as the employee’s sex, race, religion, skin color, or other protected classification. In doing so, the employer is illegally discriminating. Judges often award punitive damages in these cases, which are meant to punish the employer and discourage it from similar conduct in future. A judge may also award damages for pain and suffering if your situation entailed harassment, threats, or a hostile work environment.
Contact a Los Angeles Overtime Attorney
Whenever you have concerns about overtime pay, discuss the issue with your employer. You may have encountered a glitch in your company’s payroll software or missed a punch on your time card. Simple misunderstandings along these lines are typically fixed quickly and easily with no hard feelings. However, if you believe you were deprived of overtime pay deliberately, connect with a Los Angeles overtime lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. Reach out to the Los Angeles employment attorneys at Mathew & George for a free consultation about your case, and we will let you know how we can help. Schedule a free consultation today!