Generally, employers have the right to determine their employees’ hourly compensation and work schedules. They must abide by applicable wage and hour laws, however, which means in part that certain employees who work more than 40 hours a week must be paid overtime wages. Unfortunately, not all employers conform to the laws, and some employers pay their employees far less than what they are rightfully owed. If your employer unlawfully denied you overtime wages, you might be able to pursue a claim for damages, and it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer regarding your rights. The New York overtime lawyers at Gerstman Schwartz take pride in fighting to protect the rights of employees who were unjustly denied proper wages, and if you hire us, we will help you pursue any damages recoverable under the law.State and Federal Wage Laws
The right to receive fair wages is protected under both federal and state laws. Specifically, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that employers must pay most employees a minimum of one and a half times their regular rate of pay for any hours that they work in excess of 40 hours per week. Similarly, New York labor laws dictate that employers must pay certain non-residential employees overtime wages that amount to one and a half times their regular hourly rate for all hours over 40 hours in a workweek. Residential employees, or live-in workers, are owed overtime wages for hours worked beyond 44 hours per week. Farmworkers are owed overtime at a rate of one and a half times their regular, straight hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of 60 hours per week and for any time worked on a day of rest. An overtime attorney in New York can investigate whether you may be eligible for overtime pay.
Some employees are excluded from the overtime requirements of the FLSA. For example, executive, professional, and administrative employees, seasonal employees, and employees who earn commissions may not be eligible for overtime wages. New York State follows the federal exclusions, but many workers employed by businesses covered by the New York Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations are owed overtime pay.Pursuing Claims for Overtime Violations
An employer that fails to pay a non-exempt employee overtime for hours worked over 40 hours per week may owe the employee damages under both the FLSA and the New York Labor Law (NYLL). To demonstrate liability for unpaid overtime wages under the FLSA, a plaintiff must show that they are an employee as defined by the FLSA, the employer is subject to the requirements of the FLSA, and the employment relationship is not exempted from the FLSA. Additionally, a plaintiff must demonstrate that they performed work for which they were not adequately compensated and that the employer possessed actual or constructive knowledge of the work. In other words, a plaintiff and their New York overtime attorney must produce adequate evidence of the number of hours that the plaintiff worked without compensation. The burden will then shift to the employer to show that the employee is either exempt or not entitled to overtime pay.
Similarly, a plaintiff alleging violations of the NYLL must show that they are a covered employee pursuant to the law, the employer is obligated to comply with the NYLL, and no exceptions apply, but the employer nonetheless failed to compensate them for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a given week.Speak to a Seasoned Wage and Hour Attorney
People should be appropriately compensated for the hours that they work, but many employers try to evade their obligations to pay their employees fair wages by committing overtime violations. If you were denied appropriate pay for working overtime, you could be owed significant damages, and it is advisable to speak to a lawyer. At Gerstman Schwartz, our New York attorneys can advise you on your rights and assist you in seeking any damages recoverable under the law. We frequently represent people in overtime lawsuits in New York City and in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. You can contact us to schedule a meeting with an overtime lawyer in New York by using our online form or contacting us at our New York City office at (212) 227-7070 or our Garden City office at (516) 880-8170.