Although Texas is an at-will state when it comes to employment, there are still several scenarios in which employers cannot terminate employees without violating state or federal laws. For example, it may be considered wrongful termination if an employee is fired for claiming overtime when he or she works more than 40 hours in a given week. If you have been fired for making a legitimate overtime claim, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against your former employer for wrongful termination.
When it comes to handling claims involving wrongful termination and claiming overtime in the Allen, Plano, and Carrollton, TX region, employment law attorney Dan A. Atkerson has the skills, experience, and resources to handle even the most complex cases successfully. He has intimate knowledge of both state and federal laws governing overtime claims, including the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. He will fight to ensure that your rights as a worker are properly protected.
If you have been fired for claiming overtime pay that you rightfully earned, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson for an evaluation of your case today.
What Is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that establishes certain standards by which employers must abide. Among these are standards for paying overtime. Under the FLSA, employers must pay overtime to employees for all hours that they work after the first 40 hours in a week. The overtime rate is one-and-a-half times the employee’s hourly salary.
According to the FLSA, there are certain employees who are not eligible to earn overtime pay. These employees are considered “exempt.” In order to be classified as an exempt employee, an employee’s annual salary must meet a certain threshold and he or she must perform certain job duties. Exempt employees can include:
- Administrative employees
- Executive employees
- Creative professional employees
- Learned professional employees
- Computer employees
- Outside salespeople
- Certain highly compensated employees
If you are a non-exempt employee, your employer cannot refuse to pay you overtime if you work in excess of 40 hours in a given week, as long as your employer is covered by the FLSA.
Can an Employee Be Fired for Claiming Overtime?
This is a tricky question. While an employer must pay an employee’s overtime claim, if an employee works unauthorized overtime in violation of an employer’s policies, then that employer does have the right to take disciplinary action. Most employers will not immediately terminate an employee who violates overtime policies; however, employers that have written policies and who document their disciplinary actions well are generally well-protected against lawsuits.
If your employer did not have a written overtime policy in place, or if you were directed to work overtime and then refused payment despite your eligibility to claim time-and-a-half, then you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
Arrange for an Evaluation of Your Wrongful Termination Case
To arrange for an evaluation of your wrongful termination case, please contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson today.