Top-Rated Employment Lawyers Handling Unpaid Overtime Claims in Norfolk, Richmond, and Throughout Virginia
Wage and hour laws are in place to protect the rights of employees and ensure that they are properly compensated for their work. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), most Virginia employers are required to follow certain labor regulations—including paying overtime to workers when appropriate.
At Pierce / McCoy, our Virginia unpaid overtime & FLSA misclassification attorneys are committed to providing strong and attentive legal representation to employers and employees in Richmond, Norfolk, and throughout the surrounding region. To set up a strictly confidential, no obligation initial employment law consultation, please contact our Virginia wage and hour attorneys today.
FLSA Overtime Regulations: Understanding the Basics
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, eligible employees are owed overtime pay for pay periods during which they put in more than 40 hours. Under federal law, the rate of overtime pay is calculated at time and a half a worker’s standard hourly wage.
For example, imagine that a Richmond, VA construction worker puts in 60 hours in a given week. This employee earns normally earns a wage of $20 per hour. Under the FLSA, the worker would be entitled to 40 hours of standard wages (40*$20=$800) and an additional 20 hours of overtime pay (20*$30=$600). As such, their total pay for the week would be $1,400.
An Overview of the Penalties for FLSA Violations
Unpaid overtime remains one of the most common types of wage and hour claims filed under the FLSA. If an employee’s overtime rights were violated—whether due to miscalculation of hours, misclassification, or for any other reason—financial penalties may be assessed to the employer and awarded to the affected employee. Indeed, through an unpaid overtime claim brought under federal law, a Virginia employee may be entitled to:
- Back pay;
- Interest on unpaid overtime;
- Legal fees and costs; and
- Liquidated damages.
Whether the employer’s decision not to pay overtime is intentional or based on a mistaken belief about the law, a worker can seek overtime pay under the law. When nonpayment or underpayment of overtime is deemed to be intentional or grossly negligent, the FLSA allows employees to seek double what they are owed in the form of liquidated damages.
What to Know About Collective Action Claims Under the FLSA
Frequently, employers will fail to pay overtime to large groups of employees who are entitled to overtime compensation. Sometimes employers do this intentionally, such as by refusing to pay workers for time worked at the beginning and end of their shift. Other times, employers will mistakenly categorize an employee or group of employees as “exempt”, meaning that the employee is paid a salary and does not earn overtime pay.
When multiple employees are affected by a substantially similar Fair Labor Standards Act violation, they can pursue a collective action claim. What this means is that they can essentially join together as a group to seek compensation for all similarly situated workers who were denied their full and fair overtime wages. At Pierce / McCoy our Virginia overtime pay lawyers represent employers and employees in FLSA collective action cases.
Exempt vs. Non Exempt Employees
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires companies to pay employees overtime wages for any time worked in excess of 40 hours in a week. However, certain types of employees are exempt from these rules. Indeed, one of the major challenges of dealing with overtime issues is that many employees are exempt under federal law. Further, the line between an exempt and a non-exempt employee is not always clear. Executives, professionals, and managers, for example, are typically “exempt” from overtime pay under the law.
For employers, it is crucial that managers know which workers can be exempt from overtime regulations under the FLSA. For employees, it is imperative that they know whether or not the overtime exemption that has been applied to them is actually legally valid. Some companies push the envelope on these categories, and will classify certain employees as “managers” despite the fact that their primary job duties are not managerial in nature. Make sure you know your rights and responsibilities.
Whether you have been misclassified as “exempt” or you are a Virginia employer who needs guidance and support on FLSA exemption regulations, our employment attorney in Virginia can assist you.
Contact Our Virginia Unpaid Overtime & FLSA Misclassification Attorneys Today
At Pierce / McCoy, our Virginia employment law attorneys have the skills and experience needed to handle the full range of Fair Labor Standards Act cases, including unpaid overtime claims and worker misclassification claims. For a strictly confidential, no obligation employment law consultation, please contact our law firm today. From our law office locations in Richmond and Norfolk, we serve communities in Central Virginia and Hampton Roads.