Across the country, many workers simply don't know that they are entitled to overtime pay or that their employer's timekeeping and other practices may be unlawfully designed to prevent them from accruing the hours necessary to earn to additional wages at a higher rate. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Illinois law require employers to pay covered employees overtime wages for all hours worked over 40 in a given week. An employee who typically makes $25 per hour, for instance, must be paid $37.50 per hour for any time worked over the 40-hour threshold. If your employer has wrongly denied you overtime pay, please contact the Chicago Overtime Law Center to discuss your situation with one of our Chicago overtime lawyers and learn how we may be able to assist you. Our practice is dedicated to helping employees fight for the money and protections they deserve.
The FLSA and other overtime laws generally divide workers into two categories: "exempt" employees, who are not entitled to overtime pay; and "non-exempt" employees, who must be paid overtime for all hours worked beyond the initial 40 each week. Exempt workers are typically those who work in white-collar jobs, such as lawyers, doctors and accountants, as well as those in other professional, administrative, outside sales and some technology positions. That said, courts look at the nature of an employee's specific job duties, rather than simply focusing on his or her job title, to determine the worker's exemption status.
Employees are often unlawfully deprived overtime pay by being misclassified as exempt under the relevant laws. Yet there are also a number of other, less obvious schemes that may limit overtime opportunities. Forcing workers to perform certain parts of their jobs "off the clock," requiring them to skip meal or other required breaks, and paying a "flat salary" regardless of hours worked are all unlawful practices that not only deny workers the wages they've earned but also restrict their ability to exceed the 40-hour mark at which overtime pay kicks in.
A person who has been wrongly denied overtime can sue his or her employer for back pay, as well as other damages and penalties. These cases often proceed as class or collective actions on behalf of a group of employees, either in similar positions or performing comparable tasks. The class or collective action route allows a single court to consider company policies that affect a number of workers in one matter. It also gives workers an opportunity to raise relatively small claims that may otherwise be too costly for an individual to pursue alone.
At the Chicago Overtime Law Center, we understand that suing your employer is not an easy thing to do. That's why our Illinois employment lawyers are dedicated to working on behalf of clients every step of the way. We have decades of experience representing workers in Illinois and throughout the country in overtime, wage, tip and other claims. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our Chicago overtime attorneys, please contact us online or at (877) 990-4990.