Workers can face a number of problems while working at a company. Common problems are being underpaid, being denied overtime payment, and being forced to work for long hours. In cases like these, employees can choose to sue their employers for recovering compensation for lost wages. However, without help from an unpaid overtime lawyer, doing so can be difficult.
This is especially true in industries that tend to exploit their employees. These industries include:
- IT workers
- Service technicians
- Exotic dancers
- Pizza delivery drivers
- Nurses and healthcare workers
- Sales representatives
- Tipped employees
- Call center workers
- Oil and gas field workers
- Mortgage brokers, Personal bankers, and AMLs/BSAs
- Disaster relief workers
- Retail employees
- Courier delivery executives
If you are an employee working in one of these industries and feel you are being paid improperly or denied overtime, you should consider seeking help from an unpaid overtime lawyer so that you are paid what is rightly owed to you.
There are several ways in which an employer can deny you the wages you deserve in violation of state or federal law. The most common ways that employers exploit their employees include:
Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors
Independent contractors generally work on a contract basis for businesses. They are considered self-employed and are not required to be paid for overtime. This is why you should go to an experienced attorney whether you are unintentionally or intentionally misclassified as an independent contractor — even though you work as a normal employee.
Misclassifying Employees as Exempt
Certain types of workers are considered exempt from several federal laws regarding pay provisions and overtime pay. This means they do not receive overtime pay even if they work for more than forty hours a week. Unfortunately, workers can at times be wrongly considered as exempt because their employer is trying to avoid providing overtime payment or does not understand the law.
For example, an employer may promote the cashier to the title of “Assistant Manager” but not change their job duties. This is so the employer can claim that they work as an exempt manager, and thus, are not entitled to overtime wages.
Employer Does Not Pay Minimum Wage
The employer may choose to not adhere to the minimum wage rate in the state. In several cases, workers are denied the minimum wage rate despite strict laws. Tipped employees and day-rate workers are particularly more likely to face minimum wage violations.
Employer Does Not Pay For Total Hours Worked
You may consider pursuing help from an unpaid overtime lawyer if your employer does not pay for all the hours you have worked. Whether or not you are on the employer’s premises, if you are working for your employer’s benefit, it is considered compensable time and you should be paid. Some examples are –
- Checking emails from home
- Turning on computers
- Cleaning equipment
- Putting on equipment
- Working through meal breaks
- Undergoing security checks
- Taking short breaks lasting between 5-20 minutes
- Attending safety or training classes
Apart from the above-mentioned situations, other ways employers avoid properly paying their employees include pooling non-tipped and tipped employees, not paying overtime every week, and offering compensation time in place of overtime pay. Your attorney will help you understand what your rights are as a worker and represent you if you are not being paid enough.