Federal and state laws regulate overtime for certain covered employees. People not covered under the minimum wage law are also not covered by overtime laws. However, some jobs are exempt from overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act but are entitled to overtime under New York or New Jersey state labor laws. In some cases, an employment agreement requires greater overtime payments than what is required under federal or state law, but it may not call for less. Employees who are not paid the overtime pay to which they are entitled may be allowed to recover liquidated damages in a lawsuit. As a result, it is crucial to retain a knowledgeable wage law attorney for these claims. Emre Polat is an experienced New York City overtime lawyer who represents both employees and employers.Claims Based on Overtime Violations
In New York, overtime requirements are contained in the New York State Minimum Wage Orders and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most employees must be paid overtime at a rate of 1½ times their regular pay rate for every hour that they work over 40 hours in a workweek. Some residential employees in New York need to be paid at time and a half for all hours that they work over 44 in a single workweek.
However, this area of law may be tricky because while some jobs are exempt under the FLSA, they are still compensated with overtime under the state labor law. Under the New York Labor Law, overtime must be paid at time and half the state minimum wage, regardless of what the regular rate of pay is. However, the regular rate of pay for workers covered by the minimum wage law may not be less than minimum wage. Both the FLSA and the state labor law need to be considered by an employer making payments. An overtime attorney in New York City can explain how these laws interact in your case.
Jobs that are exempt from both the FLSA and New York law are those that are executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, government, and farm labor, as well as people who are certain apprentices, certain interns, certain volunteers, taxi drivers, camp counselors, certain workers at charitable or religious organizations, part-time babysitters, or individuals working for student associations.
Some workers are paid by piecework or salary, even though they are entitled to overtime. To determine their hourly wage, their total earnings must be divided by their hours worked during the week. Similarly, if there are multiple rates of pay, employers must take the weighted average of these rates, based on the number of hours that the employee worked at each rate. Overtime in that case may vary from week to week, depending on how many hours an employee worked at different types of tasks.
In New York, overtime is not required for night work, weekends, or holidays. However, employers and employees may negotiate and come to an individual employment agreement or collective bargaining agreement that requires overtime to be paid. Conversely, the agreement may not waive overtime. When an employer states that overtime will not be paid unless it is authorized ahead of time, it still maintains an obligation to pay overtime to an employee who does work overtime.
An employee who can establish an overtime violation under federal or state laws may be able to recover liquidated damages in addition to the amount of the unpaid overtime wages. Under New York law, for example, the liquidated damages are mandatory except when an employer can establish that it acted in good faith.Protect Your Interests by Retaining an Overtime Lawyer in New York City
Employers may need to pay significant sums for overtime violations. An aggressive New York City overtime attorney can make sure that your rights are protected. Emre Polat is an experienced and aggressive litigator and has litigated countless matters related to claims under the FLSA both at a plaintiff’s firm and a defense firm in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and in New Jersey. Call us at (212) 480-4500 or use our online form to set up an appointment. We can also assist clients seeking a discrimination attorney or advocacy in other types of employment disputes.