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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Did this Texas Hospital Cheat Nurses out of Overtime Pay?

By Dan Atkerson on September 12, 2016

A Texas nurse is filing a class action lawsuit against a hospital in Houston on the grounds that she has been denied overtime pay. Dovie Williams worked as a nurse at TH Healthcare, where she claims she and the other nurses regularly worked more than 40 per week without overtime.

The woman is requesting a trial by jury. She is aiming to get unpaid wages with additional funds to cover her legal fees.

The Law Entitles Texas Workers to Overtime Pay

The Fair Labor Standards Act entitles any non-exempt employee to receive time and a half pay for any hours worked beyond a standard 40-hour workweek. Texas overtime laws are simple in principle, but often they can get quite complicated in practice. Dishonest employers will try to take advantage of any confusion to avoid paying employees what they deserve. Let’s take a look at some of the most common violations.

Common Overtime Violations:

  • Calling overtime work volunteer hours. Any time an employee spends working should be on the clock, no matter how passionate the employee might be about that particular project. Texas law does not allow employers to make their employees work for free, or even suggest that they do so. There is no such thing as volunteer time at your place of employment.
  • Giving time off instead of overtime: Some employers may try to suggest time off in exchange for additional work. This does not fulfill the basic legal requirements for overtime. Time and a half must be paid for overtime hours. Hours off are not equivalent to hours spent working overtime.
  • Changing hour records: Some employers are so crooked that they will actually change their employees’ time-sheet to cheat them out of pay. If you suspect you are working more hours than your employer is paying you for, this might be the case at your business.
  • Claiming that their business is not required to pay overtime: Some employers may try to convince employees that their particular business is not required to pay overtime for any particular reason. This is not the case. Overtime is the law, and businesses are required to comply, no matter the size or nature of the company.
  • While all of these are common in Texas and elsewhere, they are against the law. The law protects your right to have a normal work week and enjoy time off. If you need to put in extra hours, your employer needs to pay you the extra money you deserve. If you believe you have been the victim of these violations, you should seek the counsel of an attorney.
Dan A. Atkerson is a Dallas employment attorney who fights to empower victims of workplace injustice.

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