Overtime laws can appear overly complicated, which sometimes makes it hard to understand them fully. Many employees may find themselves missing thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime if their employers take advantage of or unknowingly violate Texas overtime laws. Attorney Dan Atkerson in Allen, TX, can file an unpaid overtime lawsuit and fight for your back wages and damages in wage and hour lawsuits. Whether it is a simple case of the employer not really knowing overtime laws or an employer acting intentionally to cut down cost and maximize profits, an overtime lawyer can help you to get you collect unpaid overtime you deserve.
Mr. Atkerson has more than 32 years of experience dealing with the Texas overtime laws. He helps his clients to understand the applicable state and federal laws that apply to recovering your unpaid wages. To schedule your free, confidential consultation, contact us today.
Common Forms of Texas Overtime Pay Law Violations
There are several circumstances in which an employer may be in breach of overtime laws, including:
- Unpaid Small Breaks. Texas wage and hour laws do not actually require small breaks throughout the workday. However, if an employer does offer them, then the employer must pay the employee for them. Employers that deduct time for small breaks may be violating overtime laws.
- Working Through Lunch. Employers commonly give employees 30 minutes to an hour off for lunch. This is an unpaid break as long as the employee can stop working completely. For example, employees who eat lunch at their desk because the employer asked him/her to answer phones during their lunch break are still considered to be working. Therefore, the employer must pay you for that time.
- Working Off the Clock. Occasionally, employers will ask employees to do work “off-the-clock.” However, if the employee is working, the employer must pay the employee. This also includes time spent in training and mandatory meetings. Employers cannot deduct these times from an employee’s timesheet.
- Employee Misclassification. Employers have been known to misclassify employees to avoid paying overtime, as well. Employers may have told workers who hold certain job titles, such as “manager” or “administrator,” they do not qualify for overtime pay due to their job titles. Job titles do not affect overtime. However, the rate of salary pay and job duties may disqualify some employees from overtime.
To determine if you have been subject to overtime law violations, our team can review all documentation regarding your hours, lunch breaks, and any additional small breaks.
What to Know About Texas Independent Contract Overtime Rights
Employers may attempt to misclassify employees as independent contractors in an attempt to not pay workers the overtime wages or other employee benefits they deserve. If an employer has a certain amount of control over the work, then the “contractor” may, in fact qualify as an employee. In this case, the employee can then receive coverage under Texas overtime pay laws.
- Salary Workers: Salaried workers may be, and often are, told they do not qualify for overtime because they are paid on salary. However, that is not always the case. In fact, if a salaried employee is paid less than $455 per workweek, then he/she may be eligible for overtime pay for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek.
- Hourly Overtime Pay: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dictates that hourly employees receive time-and-a-half for overtime hours. However, it is not uncommon for employers to pay the same for overtime that they do for regular time.
- Comp Time: Some employers try to avoid paying overtime by instead offering paid time-off for hours worked past the regular 40-hour workweek. Private sector employers cannot legally offer comp time in lieu of overtime. Only some public sector workers are allowed to substitute comp time for overtime pay, and that time must be paid at time-and-a-half rates.
To ensure you are fully compensated for your work, it is important to keep detailed records of your hours. These can assist in building a strong case.
Whether it is a simple case of the employer not really knowing overtime laws or an employer acting intentionally to cut down cost and maximize profits, an overtime lawyer can help you to get you collect unpaid overtime you deserve.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have questions about what work counts as overtime, please contact Mr. Aterkson today online or by calling (214) 383-3606. We can review your case during a free consultation to determine whether to pursue legal action.