Employers Deny Employees Overtime Pay for Overtime Work

By Leeds Brown Law | August 14, 2017

NYC Lawyers Collecting Unpaid Overtime for Employees

Attorneys handling unpaid overtime cases in the New York metropolitan area and Long Island, like the ones at Leeds Brown Law, P.C. are deeply familiar with how many ways employers steal wages from hard-working employees. Ignorance and malice play a role, but regardless of intention, your wages belong to you, even when you must fight to get them.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) established rules of overtime to ensure that employees who put in extra time at work, defined as more than 40 hours in a workweek, receive pay at a special rate. Congress wanted businesses to pay extra wages when they demanded their employees spend over 40 hours working. The rate of overtime is 1 ½ times the regular rate of pay and applies to most employees. There are a few narrow exceptions to the overtime requirements.

Decades after the FLSA became effective, refusal to pay proper overtime still results in millions in lost wages for employees.

If you are not getting the overtime, your employer owes you, reach out to lawyers in New York who have experience handling unpaid wage cases. At Leeds Brown, our lawyers can help you navigate your unpaid overtime claim and collect the money that you have worked hard to earn.

Ways Employers Violate Overtime Laws

We think it is important that employees understand their rights. It is the first step in making sure your employer is paying you the correct wages. The second step is speaking with qualified unpaid overtime lawyers to find out how to protect those rights.

Misclassifying Employees

The FLSA treats employees very differently than independent contractors. Under the FLSA employees qualify for overtime pay. Independent contractors are not entitled to it. This is why many businesses do their best to classify workers as independent contractors. Overtime can be expensive! By using independent contractors instead of employees, employers can save a tremendous amount on payroll and benefits.

However, many independent contractors are really employees who should be receiving overtime pay. There are many ways to determine whether you are an employee or independent contractor. If you are not in business for yourself, you are likely an employee and should be getting premium pay when you work over 40 hours in a workweek.

Misclassifying Non- Exempt Employees

There are a few workers who are employees, but they are exempt from overtime. These employees don’t get overtime pay. If you earn a particular salary and perform certain functions such as professional, or executive-level work, even though you are an employee, you do not get extra pay for working more than 40 hours per week.

Again, to save money, some employers misclassify employees as exempt employees when they are not. If you work for a business that says you are exempt from overtime, make sure your job passes the salary and job duties tests. If you are unsure, contact Leeds Brown.

Paying you a Salary

Have you been told that you are exempt from overtime because you earn a salary? Salary alone is rarely enough to justify withholding overtime pay. You must earn a salary that is above a certain threshold and perform very specific duties at your job. Don’t assume that just because you get paid on a salary basis that you are not supposed to get overtime wages.

Forcing Comp Time

State and federal laws prefer overtime pay to compensatory time. There are some circumstances in which your employer may give you time off instead of overtime. Good recordkeeping is essential, both on the part of the employer and the employee, to determine if you’re getting all the time you’re entitled to.

Not Paying for Hours

Your employer must pay you for all the time you spend working. All your work time must be included in the calculation of your wages and overtime. When employers don’t count hours, shave hours, or refuse to pay for all your time, it is usually to keep the work week at or under 40 and avoid the costs of paying overtime. Here are some common stories we hear from employees:

  • My boss asked me to look at something after work and is not paying me for those hours.
  • After I worked a 50-hour work week, my boss said: “sorry, we don’t pay overtime.”
  • Even though my manager knew I was working late, he said I didn’t get permission to work extra hours so I won’t get paid for them.
  • Despite working through my breaks, my employer counts them as unpaid breaks.
  • I had to attend mandatory training one evening and was not paid for it
  • I come in early to get my machines ready before my shift. I was told this “off the clock” work is not compensable.
  • I did work at home to make sure we met a deadline. My employer refuses to count this time toward my pay.

Contact Us if You are Owed Overtime by Your New York Employer

Helping employees recover unpaid wages in New York, is what the attorneys at Leeds Brown love to do. We have spent over 20 years helping workers collect the wages, tips, overtime and earnings that employers owe.

Our attorneys represent most workers in Long Island and the New York City metropolitan area including;

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  • Construction
  • Landscapers
  • Waiters and waitresses
  • Bartenders
  • Plumbers and electricians
  • Retail workers
  • Restaurant staff

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  • Servers
  • Dancers and entertainers
  • Misclassified Contractors
  • Nurses
  • Food delivery workers
  • Drivers
  • Home health care providers


Call Leeds Brown today at 1-800-585-4658 for a free evaluation of your unpaid overtime case. Someone is here to receive your call 24/7 so don’t wait. Call now.

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