Unpaid wage and overtime

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, states that any employee who is underpaid by an employer is legally entitled to be compensated for the base sum and damages. If the mistake of the employer is decided to be in “good faith” the employer may be able to get their way out of paying damages.

Overtime regulations are held in the New York State Minimum Wage Orders and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Generally, employers are required to pay an overtime rate for time and a half (1½ ) for every hour an employee worked over the base 40-hour workweek. Some forms of employment require the same payment for hours worked over 44 hours.

Navigating through the process can be challenging, as some forms of employment are exempt from the FLSA, and as a result, compensation is regulated by the state labor law. Having a lawyer review your claim and how the FLSA and New York Labor Law apply to you is immensely beneficial. Furthermore, there are jobs that are exempt from New York and FLSA law such as farm labor, government, executive, professional, administrative, as well as certain apprentices, volunteers, interns, and several others. Many jobs are paid salary or by freelance, while they are entitled to overtime. In order to calculate the hourly rate of pay, the total pay is divided by the number of hours worked. Similarly, if different rates were paid for differing aspects of the job, the varying rates are averaged out based on how many hours were worked. In such cases, overtime is considered on a week to week basis.

Holidays, weekends, and night work do not qualify for overtime. Employees and employers can, however, negotiate overtime entitlements into an individual or collective employment contract. Overtime cannot be waived in such an agreement. Additionally, an agreement to pay overtime is upheld even when the employer states that overtime must be pre-approved in order to be paid out.

Regulation of overtime for specified employees is covered by both federal and state laws. Those not included under the minimum wage law, are not eligible for coverage under overtime laws. A number of jobs, however, that are excluded from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act are eligible for overtime under New York state labor laws. There are instances when an employment contract stipulates a higher overtime payment that is required by state or federal law, but less than state or federal minimum is prohibited. In New York, the law dictates that once a violation of overtime federal or state laws have established, the employee may be able to receive unpaid wages due to overtime as well as recuperate liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are in fact mandatory in New York unless the employer can prove that it acted sincerely. If an employee is not paid overtime, he may be eligible to recuperate liquidated damages in a claim. It is, subsequently, in your best interest to retain an experienced lawyer. The attorneys at Cohen & Mizrahi LLP are both knowledgeable and professional, representing both employers and employees.

Ensuring that your rights are protected and your best interest maintained is our business at Cohen & Mizrahi LLP. Contact us today.


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