As an experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer I regularly get asked about overtime pay. Sometimes employees find that they are in a position of employment where they signed up for a forty hour week, but they are actually required to work much more than that. Perhaps the employer wants them to work through lunch or stay late or come in earlier than they anticipated, maybe even carry work home or do work over the weekends. A lot of employees feel that they are being underpaid under those circumstances because they are not receiving ‘overtime’. The question of whether an employee is entitled to overtime pay is a very technical question, and it depends on the law and the state in which you live. In New York state, there is the New York state department labor law which provides that overtime can be paid to employees who work more than forty hours a week as long as the employee is not exempt from the overtime provisions in the law. Similarly under federal law, which also governs New York state employment, the fair labor standards act does contain many provisions which provide for exemptions to an employer having to pay overtime to someone working more than forty hours a week.
One of the things that we always look at are whether the employees are considered to be professionals, whether they are considered to be executive and whether they are considered to be an administrator. Those are typically the three biggest exemptions that we see. These areas are also very key specific and fact specific and the court doesn’t always look at just the title of the position. They actually look deeper into the actual duties that the employee performs whether the employee has management responsibilities or supervisory responsibilities, whether the authority has any power to hire or fire personnel or set salaries and that’s not an all inclusive list. These type of factors are certainly ones that we would like to consider in determining whether you had a viable claim but one thing you always have to be careful of is if you go to the New York State Department of Labor on your own. Under some circumstances you could actually be forfeiting your right to sue in court for that particular issue. Sometimes we get clients who have already filed in the New York state department claim and are able to withdraw them and proceed in court. Sometimes we are able to meet some type of resolution while the matter is pending in the New York state department of labor. Sometimes the client hasn’t filed anything at all and they are just seeking an opinion as to whether they have an actionable claim.
Do you have questions about overtime pay? If so, contact the experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer Kim Berg.
This informational blog post was provided by Kim Berg, an experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer.