Wage theft? It is illegal and plain wrong.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dates back to the Great Depression. It was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938, and was enacted with the dual purposes of spreading employment by placing financial pressure on employers through the overtime pay requirement, and compensating workers for the burden of working in excess of 40 hours per week. Under the FLSA and similar state laws, an employee who works more than 40 hours a week is generally entitled to overtime pay at time and a half. In today's challenging economic times, the purposes and protections of the FLSA are as relevant and necessary as ever.
In recent years, more and more companies have disregarded both the FLSA and state wage and hour laws, requiring their employees to work more than 40 hours per week without being paid overtime. In fact, the most recent statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor show that it found violations of the FLSA in 78% of the cases that it investigated. The reason for this is clear: wage and hour violations are pervasive across a number of industries. Our firm has successfully prosecuted a number of wage and hour cases against some of the largest corporations in the country, including "misclassification" cases and "off-the-clock" cases, which are among the most common type of wage and hour violations that workers face.
Wage & Hour Cases Under Investigation
Because wage and hour violations are pervasive, we are always investigating new potential wage and hour claims. The FLSA statute of limitations period continues to run until a plaintiff files a complaint or files a written consent to join an existing action. We therefore urge you to promptly contact us if you would like us to evaluate your potential claim. We are currently investigating the following potential cases:
- Claims against Bob Evans on behalf of assistant managers for failure to pay overtime.
- Claims against Five Guys for failure to pay overtime to its managers in training.
- Claims on behalf of Fracking Operators for their failure to be properly paid overtime.
- Potential claims on behalf of workers in the District of Columbia for their failure to be properly paid overtime.
- Potential claims against K-mart for failure to properly pay overtime to its assistant managers, including hard-side and soft-side assistant managers.
- Potential claims against Gordon Foods for failure to properly pay overtime to its assistant managers.
Under the FLSA and similar state laws, a worker is entitled to overtime pay at time and half unless he or she properly fits within one of the exemptions provided by those laws. Employers often improperly classify employees as exempt from overtime, for example by classifying "assistant managers" as “executives” when their “primary duty” as defined by the FLSA's implementing regulations is not management. Workers need to remember the following:
- their title, for example "assistant manager" or "manager-in-training", does not determine whether they should be paid overtime; and
- the fact that they are paid a salary does not determine whether they should be paid overtime.
Rather, it is the duties than an employee actually performs that matter in determining whether a worker is entitled to overtime.
We have learned from our experience that corporations often misclassify assistant managers. In these instances, assistant managers are paid a salary and work well in excess of 40 hours per week, but do not perform the duties and responsibilities necessary to be classified as exempt under the FLSA and related state wage and hour laws.
In off-the-clock cases, there is no question as to whether an employee is entitled to overtime. Rather, an employer fails to pay its employees for all hours worked in a work day. Employees who are not compensated for all hours worked may be entitled to both time and half overtime and minimum wages. Some examples of off-the-clock violations include:
- Pre-shift or post-shift work, for example donning and doffing protective gear before and after each shift;
- Meal or rest breaks that are not properly compensated; and
- Unpaid mandatory training that is required by an employer.
Workers need to remember that the FLSA and similar state laws require that they be compensated for all of the work they perform in a workday, regardless of whether it is on or off the clock.
No corporation too large
Whitfield Bryson & Mason has successfully prosecuted a number of cases in the area of wage and hour violations. Our attorneys have litigated on behalf of workers at some of the largest corporations in the country, including Staples, Pizza Hut, Avis and Rite-Aid. We are able to take on these large companies by bringing a collective action under the FLSA or a class action under state wage and hour laws. Collective and class actions empower an individual worker to take on a large corporation, and our firm is well-versed in bringing these types of complex actions.
If you’ve been unfairly denied overtime pay, we can help you pursue a claim. To discuss your situation, call us toll-free at 1-855-WBM-ATTY (1-855-926-2889), or contact us over the web.
- Five Guys Manager Trainees
- MedStar Hospital System Employees
- TruGreen Lawn Care Specialists / Technicians
- Office Depot Assistant Managers
- Calfrac Fracking Operators
Please contact us if you would like information on joining these pending cases.
- Rite Aid Assistant Managers
- Staples, Inc.
- Pizza Hut of Maryland, Inc.