Overtime Law: Case Studies
Understanding overtime law can be a challenge for both employers and employees. Below are just a few examples of people we have been able to help deal with unpaid overtime.
"Managers" Who Were Not Properly Exempt
The hardest piece of the puzzle can be knowing who is exempt or non exempt from overtime pay. Many people believe that any employee who is paid on a salary basis is exempt. This is actually not true, and has led to some significant liabilities. Here are a few examples.
A production manager for a litigation support company was paid as salaried and exempt from overtime. She worked over 60 hours a week. Her primary duties were on the floor scanning and assembling documents and attending to low level administrative duties. We reached a favorable settlement for her after she was terminated.
A technician for an HVAC company was paid a salary and treated as exempt from overtime. He did not have an advanced degree, and his primary duties were installing and troubleshooting equipment. We challenged his exempt status and reached a favorable settlement.
A teenager was hired at a sandwich store franchise. After a short time, he was given the title "manager." His primary duties, however, were making sandwiches. The store did not pay him overtime for work over 40 hours in a week, which he did frequently. We reached a favorable settlement.
Independent Contractors Who Were Not Properly Exempt
Employers who pay workers as independent contractors often do not pay overtime. Technically these workers do not fall within the protection of state and federal overtime laws if they are not employees. However, under Massachusetts law most of these people should have been classified as employees and paid minimum wage and overtime. Here are some examples.
A driver for a deliver company was classified as an independent contractor. He regularly worked over 40 hours in a week, but was not paid anything above his flat contracted rate. We challenged his status and reached a favorable settlement.
A group of employees working on set construction and design were classified as independent contractors. They were paid a flat rate and not compensated for overtime hours. We challenged their status and reached a favorable settlement.
Other Schemes to Avoid Paying Overtime
Most often violations of the overtime laws are based on improper classifications. In some cases, however, employers acknowledge an employee is non exempt but use other techniques to avoid paying overtime.
For example, a painter was employed by two different companies for the same jobs. He frequently worked over 40 hours a week. In those weeks, the second company paid him for the hours over 40 but not at the overtime rate. We brought suit under the Massachusetts overtime law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and reached a favorable settlement.
Can We Help You?
We have years of experience representing people with claims under the overtime laws in Massachusetts state and federal courts, and we would be happy to help you. You can use the button below to schedule a call back from a member of our team, give us a call at 781-784-2322, or fill out our web form to let us know a little more about your situation.
"Emily, a chief partner, and the two other lawyers at SLN Law who worked on my case were extremely competent and approachable. They were responsive to inquiries and they thoughtfully explained, as needed, complex legal terms. I was very well represented at each stage of a protracted legal case against a major national firm." Brian R.
"Emily is an incredible resource of knowledge on employment law. She helped guide us on how to structure our employee classifications and made adjustments to our consulting agreements so our business is better protected and positioned. She's both law-savvy and business minded - great asset to have when launching/growing a business." Diana B.
"SLN represented me in a complicated employment-related dispute. What could have been a prolonged nightmare for me was handled swiftly and skillfully, and with fairness and dignity." Smita N.
"Long overdue public words of gratitude for Emily and her associates' work on my behalf. They were so very respectful of me during an emotionally and financially ridden time -- and that mattered more than the positive result. May all clients have such advocates on their sides!" Donna B.
"Emily Smith Lee handled my age discrimination case against my former employer. She was thorough and professional throughout the whole legal process. Due to her knowledge and efforts we came to an out of court financial settlement with a victory. I would highly recommend Emily to anyone as an extremely competent attorney." Mark B.
"After more than a year of discrimination and harassment in my previous position at a teaching hospital, I was finally at the point when I knew I needed help, otherwise I could break. Thus, I started to search Massachusetts Employment regulations, and one of my Google searches brought me to an advertisement for Emily E. Smith-Lee’s book “Rules of the Road. What You Need to Know About Employment Laws in Massachusetts.” It was my lucky day, and the start of my road out of the continued misery in my workplace... I would like sincerely to thank them both for their excellent job, and emotional support and encouragement. If you feel harassed, bullied, or discriminated against, Emily and Jack are the ones who will go out of their way to help you." Valentina W.