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Unpaid Wages and Overtime

A remarkable number of employers are not compliant with federal and state wage and hour laws.  In fact, according to a recent study, unlawful non-payment of wages accounted for nearly $1 billion in losses to U.S. employees in 2012.

Our firm’s attorneys have recovered millions in unpaid wages and overtime for our employee clients.  Our attorneys will listen to your particular needs when it comes to collecting unpaid minimum wages, commissions, bonus payments, and other earned but unpaid wages from employers.  Often, our attorneys are capable of collecting unpaid wages through a confidential demand letter negotiation for those client interested in confidentiality.  For those who prefer a more aggressive approach, we routinely file lawsuits under the New York Labor Law and the Fair Labor Standards act for not only all unpaid wages, but also for penalties up to 100% of the underpayment (or double damages), interest, and attorneys’ fees.

Unpaid Wages, Unlawful Deductions, and Pooled Tips

It is illegal for your employer to force you to work “off the clock” or falsely report your hours. You may have a claim for back payment of all wages rightfully earned if your employer:

  • Requires you to report early to work, clock out for certain activities, or stay past the end of your shift;
  • Demands your presence on work premises without being paid for your time;
  • Takes deductions from your pay for reasons other than taxes or benefits;
  • Fails to reimburse you for business expenses; or
  • Fails to pay you proper commissions.

Likewise, in the restaurant and hospitality industry, it is illegal for managers to pool your tips with non-serving employees.  Although many businesses do this, it is considered theft and a violation of the law. You may have a claim for back payment of all tips rightfully earned if your employer:

  • Pools bartender tips with kitchen staff, hosts, or managers; or
  • Pools table server tips with kitchen staff, hosts, or managers

Unpaid Overtime

State and local law requires that employees receive paid time-and-a-half pay for any hour worked over 40 per week.  Even if you are a salaried worker, you may be entitled to overtime regardless of what your employer says about whether or not you are eligible for overtime pay.

Employees in the retail, restaurant, and sales industries are overrepresented among our litigation plaintiffs in unpaid overtime wage lawsuits.  However, the unlawful nonpayment of overtime can take many forms, and no industry is immune from the influence of abusive employers.  And cutting corners on overtime pay can take many forms: misclassifying workers as “exempt” — or ineligible for overtime — when in fact they are eligible, assigning nonmanagement employees management titles, forcing employees to work through their lunch break or after the end of their shift, paying hourly employees “straight time” — their regular hourly wage — instead of time-and-a-half, to avoid making overtime payments.

Misclassification of workers by position

These common positions should be receiving overtime:

  • Home health care aides;
  • Assistant managers;
  • Entry-level accountants, bookkeepers, financial clerks, or financial analysts;
  • Paralegals;
  • Mortgage brokers;
  • Entry-level copywriters and graphic designers;
  • IT professionals such as help desk and desktop support employees;
  • Administrative and support staff;
  • Inside sales representatives;
  • Nursing and healthcare assistants;
  • Financial advisors and financial representatives;
  • Financial industry trade clearance employees;
  • Food delivery employees;
  • Retail goods delivery and assembly (furniture) employees;
  • Noncredit interns;
  • Production assistants;
  • Sous chefs and preparation chefs;
  • Call center workers;
  • Account representatives;
  • Pharmacy technicians;
  • Retail-level sales assistants, clerks, and cashiers

Working Solutions for Unpaid Wages & Unpaid Overtime

If your employer failed to pay you and/or your colleagues, our firm can recover up to six years’ worth of your overtime pay.  All it takes is one person to step forward, and we can sue on behalf of one or many (class action).  Courts often award double damages for these cases when employers act willfully or in bad faith.

We take unpaid wages, unlawful deduction, falsely pooled tips, and unpaid overtime cases on a contingency basis, so you only pay legal fees if we win — learn more.  If you think you are the victim of unpaid wages or unpaid overtime, call us today for a free and confidential consultation.

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