Are You Exempt?
It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether or not an employee is exempt. You could, for instance, be a help center employee. If you only follow a script and then pass callers on to someone who provides actual assistance, you will probably fall under the category of “non-exempt.” That means your employer will have to pay you fairly per the FLSA.
On the other hand, if you are a call center worker who helps callers solve problems, that requires independent thought. As a result, you may be classified as an exempt employee.
You might be an employee who is given the title “assistant manager” and placed on a yearly salary, yet your job duties are very similar to other employees who are still on hourly pay. Because you’re on a salary you can’t get overtime pay – even though you’re doing basically the same thing as other workers. This is a common tactic many employers use to try and get around FLSA overtime compensation requirements.
As you can see, this kind of case can often be complex. This is just one of the many reasons why you’ll need to speak with an overtime employment attorney.
Protection From Retaliation
Many workers are hesitant to stand up for their rights because they fear retaliation from their employer. They’re afraid, for example, that they’ll be looked over for promotions and/or raises. Or, worse yet, they’ll be fired if they complain. But the FLSA protects employees who act in good faith.
If you are convinced that you have not been receiving the proper overtime compensation, speak to a lawyer about the steps you need to take first. For example, workers will often choose to file a written complaint internally with the company’s human resources department. If you provide your employer a statement that you believe you have not been paid correctly as mandated by the FLSA and request that the problem be corrected, that should be enough to ensure that you will be protected by the FLSA’s anti-retaliation mandate.
If you choose to file a lawsuit, you will also receive FLSA protection. As long as you acted in good faith and believed you were entitled to overtime benefits, your employer will not be able to retaliate in any way.
The FLSA includes severe penalties for employers who are found guilty of retaliating against employees who complain about unpaid overtime wages. Employers could be forced to pay many different types of “damages,” or forms of compensation. For example, a court could order the employer to not only pay lost back wages but future wages as well. Employers could also have to pay not only attorneys’ fees and court costs, but also compensatory damages for causing emotional distress. There may even be a possibility the punitive damages could also be assessed.
Talk to Baron & Budd
You need to speak up if you have any reason to believe you’ve been denied the overtime compensation to which you’re entitled. While there are no guarantees that you will win your case, if you do prevail you may win a substantial amount of money. Don’t take any action until you speak with an attorney. Talk to Baron & Budd so that we can clearly spell out all of your options. Give us a call at 866-238-4143 or contact us online if you would like to learn more.