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Class Actions

Employment law violations frequently occur against groups of similarly situated employees.  In such circumstances, the class action mechanism gives you, the employees, a practical way to stop your employers’ illegal actions, vindicate your rights, and recover monetary losses such as unpaid wages and overtime.

Our attorneys have brought class action lawsuits against Fortune 500 companies to successfully recover overtime payments owed to large groups of employees.

Federal courts have recognized our attorneys as experts in prosecuting complex employment class actions.  We have the experience, skills, and resources to handle and win large class actions on your behalf.  If you and your colleagues fall into one of these categories, contact our attorneys today for a free, confidential consultation.

Unpaid Overtime
Employers refusing to pay required overtime is the most common wage violation our attorneys encounter in the workplace.  Many employers only agree to pay owed overtime wages after they are caught.  And, even after getting caught, many employers still don’t fix the practice.  In fact, these employers often decide that refusing time-and-a-half pay for more than 40 hours to their overtime eligible workforce is cheaper than paying the occasional settlement when an employee brings a lawsuit.

You may have been cheated out of overtime wages and don’t realize that you are eligible for overtime pay because your employer intentionally misclassified you as overtime ineligible, known as “exempt” status under the labor laws.

As the years pass, you lose out on thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime wages.  In fact, the majority of our cases involve individual damages in the mid-five figures, and many over six figures.  It doesn’t matter if your employer insists you are ineligible for overtime pay; the law determines your eligibility.  Bottom line – your employer may not be telling you the truth, or may be relying on misinformation.

It is not difficult to bring a class action — a single employee can bring a class action and recover overtime wages for an entire class of employees.  And the employee who brings the class action lawsuit — known as a class representative — is eligible for an extra “incentive payment” simply for taking the initiative to bring the lawsuit.  This incentive payment supplements any individual unpaid overtime wages recovered in the class action suit.

It doesn’t matter if you earn a salary, work in the white-collar world, or have a higher degree – you may be entitled to overtime pay.  Knowing your rights is an important step, and our firm can provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation to sue.  If you worked overtime over the past six years and did not receive all of the pay you should have received, please contact us to discuss your potential claim.

Minimum Wage
You can recover lost minimum wage payments when your employer fails to compensate employees for each hour worked at the statutory minimum wage rate ($7.25 federal; $8.00 in NY) for all hours worked in a week.

Minimum wage violations occur across all industries, and are among the easiest labor law violations to bring as a class action because they are often glaringly obvious and widespread.  However, there are many less obvious minimum wage violations such as unlawful pay arrangements or illegal deductions from pay which reduce your regular hourly rate of pay below the minimum wage, even temporarily.  It doesn’t matter if you earn a salary, commission, or an hourly wage; wage rates are calculated week-to-week based on all hours worked.  So regardless of how you are paid, you are still entitled to at least the federal and state minimum wage for all hours worked in nearly any industry.

Further, if you are not paid for certain hours during the week, but paid for others, this can also lower your regular hourly rate of pay below the minimum wage.  This regularly happens in the sales industry, particularly with commission-only sales employees who are not paid a guaranteed draw, and have the occasional bad week in sales.  These employees bring home paychecks that reflect little pay or no pay despite having worked to consume sales that didn’t materialize.  This is often illegal for many different reasons, including for failing to pay, at the very least, a guaranteed draw that satisfies the federal and state minimum wage for all hours worked.

Knowing your minimum wage rights is an important step, and our firm can provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation to sue.  If you were paid minimum wage over the past six years and did not receive commensurate pay, please contact us to discuss your potential claim.

Illegal Deductions
Many state laws, including New York and New Jersey, prohibit employers from taking deductions from employees’ earned wages, other than lawful payroll withholdings for taxes and health insurance.  Examples of illegal deductions and failure to reimburse include:

  • Disciplinary deductions for partial day absences (such as a doctor’s visit)
  • Tardiness;
  • Cashier shortages;
  • Legitimate business expenses, including uniforms and equipment; or
  • Travel expenses incurred while on the job.

Our attorneys expertly recover your cost of business expenses and other lost wages resulting from an employer’s illegal deduction practices.  Knowing your rights is an important step, and our firm can provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation to sue.  If you believe your employer took illegal deductions from your pay over the past six years, please contact us to discuss your potential claim.

Unpaid Sales Commissions
Many sales employees are paid commission only, or a small base salary plus commissions.   Sales employees who do not work more than 50 percent of the time in outside sales work must be paid at least minimum wage and overtime wages.  If an employee makes no sales and therefore earns no commissions, the employer is required to pay minimum wage and overtime.

A commissioned salesperson who receives draws against anticipated commissions is not required to repay those draws if the commission does not become finally due and payable to the salesperson, unless an agreement says otherwise.  If there is a specific agreement providing otherwise, NY law requires that such an agreement must be in writing and, if the draw is recoverable by the employer, the frequency of reconciliation must be included.

Knowing your rights as a sales employee is an important step, and our firm can provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation to sue.  If you believe your employer took illegal deductions from your pay over the past six years, please contact us to discuss your potential claim.

Independent Contractors
Many employers misclassify their workers as independent contractors when most should be classified as employees, depriving such individuals of many benefits including overtime pay, vacation pay, health insurance, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and expense reimbursements.

Our firm has extensive experience litigating class actions on behalf of misclassified workers.  Knowing your rights as an independent contractor is an important step, and our firm can provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation to sue.  If you’ve worked as an independent contractor anytime over the past six years, please contact us for to discuss your potential claim.

Restaurant Industry Wage Disputes
Employers in the restaurant industry must pay their wait staff, bartenders, captains, bussing personnel the applicable minimum wage.  However, an employer may take a “tip credit” toward the minimum wage if such workers receive enough tips. Importantly, the employee must have been notified of the tip credit in writing and the employer must always pay a minimum of $5.00 per hour, even if the employee’s tips then bring them well above the minimum wage.  Also, while servers may choose to pool their tips so everyone shares in the fruits of a shift, sometimes employers unlawfully requires a house-split (where the house takes a certain percentage off-the-top) or employees to include managers in the pool.

Furthermore, in New York, when the length of time between the beginning and end of a workday is greater than 10 hours, including any time off-duty, meals, rest periods or time between shifts, such employees are entitled to one additional hour’s pay at minimum wage for that day.

Knowing your rights as a restaurant industry employee is an important step, and our firm can provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation to sue.  If you’ve worked as a restaurant industry employee anytime during the past six years and were subjected to any such practices, please contact us to discuss your potential claim.

Retail Industry Wage Disputes
The retail industry notoriously utilizes illegal employment practices. Many retail employers misclassify assistant store managers and shift supervisors as “salaried” employees to avoid paying overtime, despite the fact that these employees spend most of their day doing the same job duties as hourly employees.

Other common retail industry violations include forcing employees to undergo “off the clock” bag checks, and insisting that retail employees service customers during their lunch break, or after punching out at the end of their shift.

Knowing your rights as a retail industry employee is an important step, and our firm can provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation to sue. If you did not receive sales commission from your retail industry position over the past six years, please contact us to discuss your potential claim.

Call Center Workers
If you work in a sales or support position in a call center, you may be required to work more than 40 hours per week without being paid for such time.  Many call center employees work prior to, during, and after their shift without commensurate pay.  In some cases, this can add up to 30 minutes or more of unpaid overtime work per shift that should be paid if it takes you beyond 40 hours of work in a week.  For example:

(1) Call center employees are often asked to boot up computers, log in to computer terminals; begin running or accessing computer applications and programs, and perform a number of other functions that are considered vital to their job duties before they begin getting paid;

(2) Some call centers will clock employees out, or alter time records at the end of the week, if the employee could not prematurely end a call at the end of their shift and thus worked overtime.  This means employees are forced to work with customers while not being paid for their time.

(3) Some call centers misclassify employees as independent contractors and only pay a flat weekly rate structured as a recoverable draw on commissions.  This can lead to minimum wage violations, overtime violations, and illegal deductions from earned wages.

Knowing your rights as a call center employee is an important step, and our firm can provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation to sue.  If you are a call center employee and the subject of an employer wage violation, please contact us to discuss your potential claim.

Computer and IT Workers
Many employees in the computer and IT industry, whether as help-desk support, software programmers or in data entry, work well over 40 hours per week.  Companies often pay computer and IT workers a weekly salary, denying the following categories of IT employees deserved overtime payments:

  • help desk;
  • desktop support;
  • IMAC (install, move, add, change) technicians;
  • systems administrators; and
  • any form of troubleshooting or manual labor — whether relating to software, hardware, network administration, systems administration, or server maintenance

Note that some “computer professionals” are not required to be paid overtime, but that category is very limited such as programmers.

Knowing your rights as an IT or computer worker is an important step, and our firm can provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation to sue.  Our attorneys have proven success litigating complex class action law suits on behalf of IT and computer workers.  Please contact us today to discuss your potential claim.

Financial Industry Employees
Financial industry employers, including large investment banks and wire house brokerage firms, routinely and knowingly misclassify large portions of their workforce as exempt from overtime pay, despite the fact that they understand it is illegal or, at best, of questionable legality.  However, these employers know that the savings in unpaid overtime pay is too great to forgo.  Such banks and brokerage firms only fix the problem after a class action lawsuit is filed against the company, and even then they don’t change the practices.

Common examples of routinely misclassified financial industry job titles include Financial Advisor (brokerage house brokers, sometimes franchised), Financial Representatives (in-bank brokers), Trade Clearance Specialists, Financial Associates, Financial Assistants, Broker’s Assistants, Sales Associates, and Account Specialists.

Knowing your rights as a financial industry employee is an important step, and our firm can provide a free, confidential consultation without obligation to sue.  Our firm specializes in financial industry wage and hour class actions.  If you believe you have been misclassified in a financial industry job, please contact us today to discuss your potential claim.