Unpaid Overtime Lawyers

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New Jersey Unpaid Overtime Attorneys

Protecting Against Unpaid Overtime in the Workplace

Nearly all employees that are paid by the hour are entitled to overtime. Overtime violations are common among hotel and restaurant workers and any other employees whose hours must adjust according to customer behavior.

  • requires you to work before clocking in, after clocking out, or during an unpaid lunch break.
  • automatically deducts time from your pay for lunch breaks, regardless of whether you take the break or not.
  • mandates you to attend company meetings without compensating you.
  • does not compensate you for on-call time.
  • fails to pay you for time spent driving between meetings, appointments, or other locations during the workday.
  • expects you to work at home without compensation.

Many people falsely believe that salaried employees and independent contractors are exempt from overtime. This is not always true. Unfortunately, far too many employers misclassify their employees in order to avoid their legal responsibilities to pay their employees fairly.

What Is the Overtime Rate of Pay in New Jersey?

The New Jersey State Wage Payment Law dictates the time, manner, and mode of payment. Nonexempt employees that work over 40 hours in a workweek must be paid 1.5 times their regular rate for each hour in excess of 40 hours.

Am I Eligible to Receive Overtime Pay?

You must determine if your company is covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most companies are. This is a law that sets federal wage and hours rules.

Businesses must comply with the FLSA if they meet the following criteria:

  • They have $500,000 or more in annual sales.
  • They engage in “interstate commerce.
  • This could include making phone calls to or from another state, sending mail out of state, or handling goods that will go to, or come from another state.

Exempt vs. Nonexempt Employees

If you believe your employer owes you overtime pay, you also need to determine whether you are a non-exempt employee. Do not rely on your employer to give you an accurate answer as to what type of employee you are. Some employers will classify any job as an “exempt” position if they think they might get away with it. This is called employee misclassification, and it is unfortunately too common.

Usually, an employee’s classification status depends on:

  • What their job responsibilities and duties are.
  • The scheme in which they are paid (e.g. salary, hourly + tips, commission).
  • How much they are paid.
  • In order to be exempt from receiving overtime, the employee must satisfy three requirements:
  • They must make at least $684 per week (as of 1/1/2020).
  • They are paid on a salaried basis.
  • Their job requires them to perform “exempt” duties.

Info Box

If you believe you have not received the overtime compensation you deserve, the New Jersey attorneys at Schall and Barasch LLC can offer you guidance. Fill out our online form today.

What Are Exempt Job Duties?

There are 3 categories of exemptions:

These factors include:

  • Executive: This applies to department heads with hiring and firing duties, presidents, heads of major divisions, or general managers.
  • Administrative: Administrators include payroll directors, controllers, personnel directors, department heads, general managers, chief financial officers, head buyers, or head dispatchers.
  • Professional: Creative professionals, writers, physicians, registered nurses, pharmacists, dentists, teachers, artists, attorneys, CPAs, and others.

To be exempt, your primary duty must fit into one of the above categories. This means that you spend more than 50% of your work time doing this duty. In addition, your weekly compensation must be at least $684. Still, there are many gray areas with respect to job classification. If you are unsure if one of these categories applies to you, speak with an employment law attorney.

If your job is classified as exempt, it means that one or more of the Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to you. When this act was passed, many types of employees were purposefully excluded. This is due in part to lobbying efforts by industries with strong motives to quash employee rights to fair compensation. If you are unsure about your job classification, speak to an employment law attorney. The partners at Schall and Barasch LLC keep current with all aspects of employment law in both New Jersey and the United States in general. They will be able to help you determine whether you are owed overtime compensation.

What Is Misclassification?

A common trick employers use to avoid paying their employees overtime is to misclassify non-exempt employees as exempt. Employers will falsely classify an employee as exempt and pay them a salary, doing so to avoid having to pay overtime. If the employee ends up working more than 40 hours in a week, the employer will refuse to pay overtime wages, claiming that they do not need to. Misclassifying employees as exempt results in substantial wage theft of employees in New Jersey.

Can My Boss Fire Me for Filing an Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit?

Your company may certainly try to fire you for filing an unpaid overtime lawsuit, but it would be foolish to do so. A company is not legally permitted to retaliate against you for filing a claim against it. If your employer terminates you after you asserted your right to unpaid overtime, it may be engaging in wrongful termination.

Can My Employer Require Me to Work Overtime?

In some cases, yes. An employer can require an employee to work overtime as long as it pays the appropriate overtime wages and does not violate existing employee-employer agreements. One of the exceptions to this rule exists with healthcare facilities. Healthcare facilities may only require overtime work as a last resort. They may not require employees to work overtime because they are understaffed. Before asking for employees to work overtime, they must first attempt to fill vacancies with volunteers, on-call employees, per-diem staff, and personnel staffed by temp agencies.

Contact Our Unpaid Overtime Attorneys

The attorneys at Schall and Barasch LLC have been fighting against unfair employers for long enough to know the common schemes they use to cheat workers of wages. After many years of experience in fighting these unfair practices, they have developed effective strategies for recovering unpaid overtime for their clients. Both Patricia Barasch and Richard Schall have earned reputations as tireless advocates for workers’ rights.

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