Federal and state laws generally require employers to pay their workers overtime wages for all time worked beyond 40 hours in any given week. Whether a particular employee is entitled overtime pay depends on both the number of hours worked, but also the employee's classification under the relevant laws. Our Chicago employee misclassification lawyers can advise you on whether you should bring a claim.
The Fair Labor Standards Act, for example, mandates that an employer pay workers at a rate of 1½ times his or her usual hourly rate for all hours beyond the first 40. That means that a worker who typically makes $25 per hour must be paid $37.50 per hour for any time worked over the 40-hour threshold. But the Act's overtime provisions do not extend to those employees deemed "exempt." Rather, it applies only to those workers who are categorized as "non-exempt" under the law.
Determining Whether an Employee is Exempt
Exemption status is determined on an individual basis, and courts focus primarily on the worker's regular job duties rather than position or title. Most workers in "white collar" or professional jobs - such as lawyers, doctors, accountants, outside salespersons and some technology workers - are FLSA exempt. Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of those in other jobs are covered under the statutes. That includes workers who are paid largely in tips.
Determining a specific employee's exemption status can be a complicated matter and employers often make mistakes that may lead to a worker or large group of workers being wrongly denied the overtime pay they deserve. If you believe you have been misclassified as exempt under the FLSA or state overtime laws, please contact us to see how our employment lawyers may assist you.
If You Are Underpaid Due to Misclassification, You May Be Entitled to Compensation
An employee denied overtime pay as a result of misclassification can sue his or her employer for back pay as well as other penalties and damages. At the Chicago Overtime Law Center, we understand that filing a lawsuit against an employer can put a worker in an awkward and delicate situation. Fighting for your right to the money you've earned is difficult, especially in tough economic times. That is why we stand by our clients every step of the way, both in and out of the courtroom. Our wage and hour lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that clients earn honest pay for an honest day's work.
Overtime cases frequently proceed as class or collective actions in which a group of employees that has been misclassified or otherwise denied overtime pay sue their employer in one single matter. This allows one court to consider company policies that affect a number of workers and gives individual employees an avenue for raising relatively small claims that may otherwise be too costly to pursue alone.
At the Chicago Overtime Law Center, our Illinois employment lawyers have successfully represented a wide variety of workers in overtime claims, both individually and on a class-wide basis. We are committed to protecting clients' rights to overtime pay and provide aggressive representation on behalf of the employees for whom we work. Please contact us online or at (312) 869-4095 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Chicago employee misclassification attorney.