I am paid a salary. Am I entitled to overtime pay?
Very possibly! Many employers--even very large ones--believe that they don't have to pay overtime to salaried employees. But oftentimes salaried workers ARE entitled to overtime pay. You need to talk to an employment attorney about your job responsibilities to determine if you are entitled to back wages.
What if I no longer work for the company; can I still get back wages for unpaid overtime?
Yes. In many cases employees can file a claim for overtime pay as long as three years after the violations occurred. It doesn't matter that the employee no longer works for the company. But it is still important to file a claim as soon as possible. Otherwise some claims may be lost forever.
How long must I work in a week before I am owed overtime pay?
Employees must be paid overtime after 40 hours of work during a defined work week. Overtime pay is time-and-a-half of your hourly wage.
Is it worth filing an overtime claim?
Most definitely! The law is very favorable to employees who have been denied overtime pay. Not only may you receive your overtime pay for the last two or three years, you are almost always owed an equal amount in "liquidated damages." This means that if you're owed $5,000 in unpaid overtime wages, the employer has to pay you $10,000.00! And many times, the employer also has to pay your attorney fees, so you don't even have the cost of hiring an employment lawyer!
Why should I talk to an employment lawyer if I have questions about my paycheck or overtime pay?
Simply put, the vast majority of employers do not know their legal obligations regarding wages. This means that literally millions of employees are receiving less than what they're legally entitled to. DON'T BE ONE OF THESE EMPLOYEES! And because the employer is usually required to pay the employee's attorney fees when there as been a wage violation, there is simply no reason not to call an employment lawyer.
I'm considered a subcontractor and am given a 1099 at the end of the year. Am I entitled to receive overtime pay?
Maybe. Many employers try to classify their employees as subcontractors so the company doesn't have to pay workers' compensation or overtime wages. This is illegal. So while true subcontractors are not entitled to receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40, misclassified employees ARE entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week. Regardless of what the employer says, employees should talk to an employment lawyer if they have questions about wages, overtime pay, or their classification as a subcontractor.
Can I sue my employer for firing me because I filed a workers' compensation claim?
Yes. It is illegal for a company to fire someone simply because he or she filed a workers' compensation claim. But it DOES happen! Employees who are hurt on the job should immediately contact an employment lawyer who can protect them.
The insurance company told me that I am getting the maximum amount I can receive for my workers' compensation case. Why should I hire an employment attorney?
Insurance companies are in business to either (1) deny claims or (2) pay the lowest amount possible. So why would you trust what the insurance company tells you? Insurance companies will often handle your workers' compensation case in such a way that you do not receive the money you are entitled to. By retaining an employment lawyer early in your case, you are ensuring that you receive the medical treatment you need, and that you do not compromise the value of your case. But even if you do not hire an employment attorney early in your workers' compensation case, you should NEVER settle with the insurance company without asking an attorney to review your case with you. Most experienced employment law attorneys can tell you in a matter of minutes what your workers' compensation case is potentially worth.
Can I fired for being injured or disabled, even if it didn't happen at work?
It depends. The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") prevents an employer from firing someone or refusing to hire him/her if the person can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Employees who feel that they have been treated unfairly because of an injury or disability should immediately contact an attorney experienced in employment law. There is a strict time limit for filing a claim for this type of discrimination.
I don't like the medical treatment I am receiving from the workers' compensation doctor. Can I ask to see another doctor?
Generally, yes. But again, this is where you need an experienced employment law attorney to help you. The insurance company may not let you see another doctor, but having an employment law attorney on your side can help you get the medical treatment and care that you desperately need and are entitled to.
What is FMLA leave?
The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees to receive unpaid time off for theirs and their family's serious medical conditions. Usually employees are allowed twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave. The leave must not all be taken at once. "Intermittent leave" is where an employee is gone for hours, days, or weeks at a time but does not need the full twelve (12) weeks at one time. Simply put, the FMLA protects employees' jobs when they must be out of work for an extended period of time for a reason that is covered by the Act. An experienced employment attorney can help you understand your rights under the FMLA.
I am being harassed at work. What options do I have?
An employee who is being harassed at work should immediately report the harassment to his/her boss or other upper-level manager. The report should be in writing and should specify who, what, when, and where. You should also keep detailed records of the behavior, witnesses, the circumstances, the company's response, etc. There are several options depending on (1) the nature of the harassment (i.e. verbal, physical, etc.), (2) the reason for the harassment (gender, race, etc.), (3) the frequency, and (4) the harasser's position with the company. An employment lawyer can help you figure out the best way to protect yourself from harassment at work.
Other questions? Call today for FREE consultation! (865) 383-1053.