Many people around the country feel that they are not being paid what they are owed. If you continually work long hours only to see that your paycheck is less than what you expected, you might be underpaid. Unfortunately, some employers try to cut corners by shaving off hours or engaging in misclassification schemes. Here are the signs that the attorneys at Swartz Swidler believe that you should know to determine if you are being underpaid.
No overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in a week
While some employees are exempt from the overtime pay requirements, many employers misclassify workers so that they can deny the overtime compensation that they would otherwise owe. Your employer may incorrectly classify you as an exempt employee or as an independent contractor to avoid paying you overtime. Other schemes include averaging your workweeks, paying you a flat salary or making you work through your lunch break. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, all workers who are not exempt must b be paid an overtime rate of time-and-one-half for every hour that they work over 40 in a workweek.
You receive a salary
Employees who are paid a salary are categorized under an exemption to the FLSA. In many cases, these exemptions are incorrectly applied by employers. In some cases, employers intentionally do this to deny their workers the overtime pay they would otherwise be entitled to receive. Employers who are found to have misclassified employees as exempt may be forced to pay their workers back wages for two years or up to three years if the violations were willful.
You receive straight time pay for your overtime hours
Your employer can’t simply pay your hourly rate for your overtime hours. Instead, you must be paid one-and-one-half times your regular rate for each hour that you work in excess of 40 in a workweek.
Errors in the calculation of your bonus
Some employers tell their workers that their overtime rates are already included in their bonuses. However, your employer has to take into account all of the work-related payments that you receive, including bonuses, when your employer is calculating your regular rate and corresponding overtime pay.
Your employer uses a fluctuating workweek for payment
Under the fluctuating workweek method, employees are paid fixed salary amounts regardless of the number of hours that they work. While this is legal, your employer must first meet several requirements. It is common for employers to use this method of payment incorrectly.
You are paid a piece-rate for all of the hours that you work
If you are paid a piece rate, this means that you receive a certain amount of money for a fixed amount of work no matter how much time it takes you to complete the job. However, non-exempt employees are still eligible to be paid the minimum wage and overtime pay.
Your rights under the FLSA
If you want to take action against your employer for unpaid overtime or unfair wages, contact the law firm of Swartz Swidler. We may be able to help you to recover the earnings to which you are entitled.