Working more than 40 hours in a week, but not getting paid overtime? Your employer may be breaking a federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act. Our experienced overtime attorneys can help.
The attorneys at WageAdvocates.com are committed to fighting for workers’ rights, standing up to employers big and small when employees have been threatened by minimum wage and overtime pay violations. Both federal and state laws guarantee employees a fair wage, but many companies neglect their legal duties and fail to honor their obligations. That’s when we step in, protecting workers from unfair labor practices.
Unpaid Overtime & Wage Violation Lawyers
At WageAdvocates.com, our wage and hour lawyers believe that unpaid overtime violations are theft, plain and simple. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act was instituted to protect hourly and low income employees by guaranteeing them a fair minimum wage and overtime pay. When we keep up our end of the bargain, working long into the night to maintain our employer’s business, the majority of us are guaranteed extra pay.
We think employers should keep up their end of the bargain, too.
Wage//Advocates – Protecting Rights & Pursuing Justice
You work hard for the money you earn. So will we.
WageAdvocates.com is sponsored by an alliance of distinguished trial lawyers, five experienced overtime attorneys working together to fight wage theft.
Over more than 20 years of trial experience, Tim Becker has proven himself a tireless advocate for worker rights as a trusted overtime attorney.
Partner at Minneapolis’ Johnson // Becker PLLC, and lead sponsor of WageAdvocates.com, Tim is committed to providing clients effective, aggressive legal representation. He’s prosecuted numerous individual FLSA violation claims and been actively involved in several notable class actions.
Tim served as Lead Trial Counsel for Milner et al. v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, a class action filed on behalf of insurance claims adjusters who alleged that their employer had improperly classified them as exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions. After a jury found Farmers Insurance Exchange had misclassified their employees, the company settled for $1.5 million.
He also served as Co-Lead Counsel in the FLSA claim Williams et al. v. Sykes Enterprises, Inc. et al., a class action filed by call-center and at-home customer service agents who said they hadn’t been paid for performing their pre- and post-shift responsibilities. The class was estimated to represent nearly 51,000 employees.
He has been appointed Co-Lead Counsel in Lawrence v. Maxim Health Care, a class action FLSA claim in which Tim represents in-home health aides who believed they had been unlawfully denied overtime compensation.
In April of 2015, Tim was instrumental in obtaining an Order Granting Motion for Partial Summary Judgment in Flores v. Velocity Express, an FLSA class action filed against a delivery company that had allegedly misclassified drivers as independent contractors.
Honors & Admissions
Tim has been named a “Super Lawyer” by peer-reviewed ranking service Super Lawyers 7 times, including a five-year run between 2011 and 2015.
He graduated from the University of Illinois, Chicago with a B.A. in History, and went on to earn his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, where he graduated cum laude.
Tim is admitted to practice in the state of Minnesota, as well as the US District Court of Illinois, Northern District, US District Court of Michigan, Eastern District and the US Court of Appeals, 1st, 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th Circuits.
An attorney at Minnesota’s Johnson // Becker, Jacob’s practice is focused on violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, including minimum wage and overtime disputes. He was recognized by Super Lawyers as one of Minnesota’s Rising Stars in 2014 for his work in collective actions and mass torts.
Jacob currently represents clients in several unpaid wage disputes against some of America’s biggest employers. In an ongoing case, he serves as Lead Counsel representing a home health aide who claims that her employer misclassified her under the FLSA’s “companionship” exemption.
He also represents clients in defective medical device and dangerous pharmaceutical drugs claims.
Education & Admissions
Jacob graduated from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. He was awarded his law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul in 2011.
He is admitted to practice in the State of Minnesota, as well as the US District Court for Minnesota.
In his years as a defense lawyer, David represented Fortune 500 companies and private individuals in contentious business litigation. Now he serves as an advocate for working families and individuals harmed by dangerous pharmaceuticals.
In 2014, he was named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100, an invitation-only organization of the premier plaintiffs’ attorneys in the nation.
He formerly served as the Assistant City Attorney for St. Paul. David helped found a colon cancer awareness non-profit, and served both as general counsel and board member for nearly 10 years.
Education & Admission
David received a BA in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He was then awarded an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and went on to earn his law degree at St. Paul’s Hamline University School of Law.
He is admitted to practice in the State of Minnesota, US District Court for the State of Minnesota, US District Court for the State of Wisconsin, Western Division, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Tax Court.
Managing Partner at Monheit Law, a Pennsylvania law firm, Michael has pursued justice for his clients for over 20 years. He has gained national recognition for his tireless litigation of mass torts involving dangerous pharmaceutical products.
Throughout his decades of advocacy, Michael’s commitment has remained to his clients. Treating every client as an individual, with respect and an emphasis on clear communication, Michael is proud to stand for the rights of workers.
Education & Admissions
Michael graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business with a B.S. in Economics. He received his J.D. from the Temple University School of Law.
He is licensed to practice law in the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Laurence is the Managing Partner at New York’s Banville Law, a personal injury firm devoted to offering professional legal counsel to those most in need.
As a former corporate defense attorney, Laurence noticed how many people were effectively cut off from their legal rights by “legalese.” So he decided to change that, by founding Banville Law and providing down-to-earth representation free of jargon.
Laurence’s experience as a defense attorney, in which he represented large asbestos manufacturers, provides the team at WageAdvocates.com invaluable insight into the strategies used by employers seeking to defend against civil claims.
Education & Admissions
Born in Ireland, Laurence earned his law degree from the University College Dublin, graduating with a GPA equivalent of 4.0 and receiving President’s Honors.
He is admitted to practice in the state of New York.
Wage Theft Is Intolerable. We Can Help.
Millions of American workers depend on hourly wages everyday – to pay the rent, keep the lights on and feed their families. Sometimes it’s a struggle to make ends meet. And while we often assume the best of people, hundreds of thousands of tireless employees are shocked and outraged to learn that their employers have been underpaying them in violation of federal and state law.
They should be outraged.
Wage and hour violations are an insult to the principles upon which this nation was founded, and an affront to the very individuals and families who make so many American businesses successful year after year.
Why Do I Need An Overtime Lawyer?
The Department of Labor has been tasked with enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act. In 2014, the agency recovered more than $240 million illegally withheld from low-wage workers by their employers. But that doesn’t even come close to what American workers are actually losing.
In New York, LA and Chicago, low-wage workers lost an estimated $3 billion to outright wage theft in 2014 alone. According to researchers at UCLA and the Center for Urban Economic Development, employees nationwide could lose as much as $50 billion annually.
That money is being stolen, and Americans families are suffering as a result. But the Department of Labor – understaffed, underfunded and overextended – only caught half of one percent of all the earned wages that went unpaid in 2014.
The need for an alternative is clear.
How Can A Wage And Hour Lawyer Help?
Civil lawsuits provide that alternative. In fact, reaching out to an overtime attorney is the only way most workers losing out to wage theft will ever see the money they should have made.
But employment law is complex. Our country’s labor laws are based on a simple idea: you work, offering hours of labor to your employer, in exchange for your employer’s money. Add in commissions, travel and training requirements, though, and the situation can become complicated very quickly.
An experienced wage and hour lawyer can help you understand your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act – and seek true labor justice if you’re being denied the overtime pay you deserve.
Is Every Worker Entitled To Overtime?
No, but the vast majority of workers are.
The Fair Labor Standards Act contains several exemptions, which define workers who aren’t entitled to overtime. Employees who aren’t guaranteed overtime pay usually fall into one of the following categories:
- certain computer professionals
- outside salespeople
Many employers take advantage of these exemptions, saving themselves money on payroll, but that’s not always a legal violation. Other companies use complex accounting tricks, or misclassify their employees as exempt, breaking the law and depriving workers of their rightfully-earned wages.
Employee misclassification is fast becoming the most prevalent wage and hour violation in America.
Labor & Employment Law Basics
In most cases, workers are entitled to overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in a workweek. For the purposes of federal law, a workweek is defined as seven 24-hour periods in a row. Overtime should be paid at one-and-a-half times your regular pay rate, if not more. To pay their workers properly, employers are required to keep accurate, up-to-date records of hours worked.
When an employee works overtime, their extra wages need to be calculated based on that week alone. That’s true even for workers who get paid once every two weeks. Employers often average the hours from two weeks together, making a 50 hour week and a 30 hour week look like two weeks at 40 hours, to deprive their employees of overtime pay. That’s usually illegal.
Employers are required to control the hours of work, not employees. If an employer doesn’t want an employee to work overtime, the employer has to prohibit overtime. There are only a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if an employee fails to report their overtime hours – and there was no way for the employer to know that those overtime hours had been worked – the overtime wages may not be required.
Unpaid Overtime & Common Wage Violations
Most wage and hour violations involve the improper payment of overtime wages. In some cases, that means employers have incorrectly calculated the amount of overtime pay a worker should be making, while other companies simply fail to pay overtime entirely. An increasingly common violation occurs when employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors, a category of workers who aren’t usually entitled to overtime. Many workers who are classified as independent contractors today should actually be classified as employees, who are entitled to overtime pay.
Late payments are another issue. While the Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t set out a specific deadline for the payment of wages, Labor Department officials have long held that employees should be paid both straight-time and overtime wages as quickly as is practical. State laws, however, may have more specific requirements. In most states, payment is required on a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis.
Other examples of overtime violations include:
- forcing employees to perform work “off-the-clock”
- refusing to pay for overtime that wasn’t expressly authorized
- leaving breaks that last between five and twenty minutes out of an employee’s “hours worked”
- “paying” employee’s for overtime work in comp time, rather than financial wages
Some wage and hour violations are truly accidental. Employers can make honest mistakes, but for the purposes of employment law, intentions don’t matter much. Every worker is entitled to receive the money they’ve earned – no ifs, ands or buts.
Am I At Risk Of Overtime Violations?
Wage theft is particularly common in certain industries, and some workers are more vulnerable to overtime violations than others:
- hourly nurses
- warehouse workers
- repair people
- manufacturing workers
- private home workers
Undocumented workers are at the highest risk of falling victim to minimum wage and overtime violations. But the Fair Labor Standards Act protects all workers equally, including undocumented people. To learn more about the labor rights of undocumented workers, click here.
Won’t I Get Fired If I File An Overtime Lawsuit?
Not legally. Employers are not allowed to fire, demote or cut the hours of workers in retaliation for the filing of a minimum wage or overtime lawsuit.
When employers retaliate in any way, subjecting workers to negative consequences in reaction to an employment lawsuit, they are breaking the law. They’re also opening themselves up to further legal liability, both criminal and civil. Employees who are demoted or have their hours cut after filing an overtime lawsuit may be eligible to file a second lawsuit for additional back wages. When workers get fired, they can even sue to have their jobs reinstated.
Contact An Experienced Unpaid Overtime Lawyer
We believe everyone deserves access to experienced legal counsel. That’s why our unpaid overtime lawyers only offer their services on a contingency-fee basis: you pay nothing until we secure compensation in your case.
In a successful wage and hour lawsuit, workers stand to win:
- full back wages
- interest on unpaid wages or liquidated damages (usually double the amount of back wages owed)
- attorneys’ fees
Learning more about your legal options comes at no charge. If you think an employer isn’t paying you what you’ve earned, contact our wage and hour attorneys for a free consultation today.
Thank you! I worked a long time without proper overtime pay and Wage Advocates helped me get compensation."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★