Fort Worth Unpaid Overtime Attorneys
Aggressive Representation in Overtime Pay Disputes – Tarrant County FLSA Lawyers
Whether you are an employer or employee, disputes over unpaid overtime pay can have a significant impact on both parties. If the employee has been denied overtime pay, the consequences can be forgoing thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in compensation despite working long hours that could be spent with family. When an employer must defend against a false claim of unpaid overtime, the litigation costs and disruption can seriously harm a company’s bottom line. When a large company faces a lawsuit brought by many employees banding together and claiming unpaid overtime, the challenge for an employer is even more daunting. At FH Law Group., we effectively represent both sides in disputes over unpaid overtime.
Overtime Law in Texas
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs overtime pay in Texas. Generally, the statute mandates that employees receive one and a half times their normal hourly rate for each hour worked beyond forty hours per week. An employer cannot assert a lack of records to support an unpaid overtime claim as a defense because the FLSA places a duty on employers to keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid. If an employee estimates overtime hours worked, the employer has the burden of providing evidence to counter the claim.
Although not all employees are entitled to overtime pay, many people misunderstand the exceptions to eligibility for overtime pay. While many parties to the employment relationship assume that salaried employees are exempt from overtime requirements, salary compensation does not constitute the criteria for eligibility. If the criteria were this simple, employers could easily circumvent overtime rules. The most prevalent exceptions to overtime pay include the following:
- Administrative, executive, and professional employees (e.g. teachers, grammar and secondary school administrators)
- Certain computer-related occupations
- Outside sales employees
The applicable Department of Labor regulations and case law provide rather vague guidance that are open to considerable debate. Because of this ambiguity, the applicability of exemption status tends to be one of the most contentious and common issues in unpaid overtime litigation. Because Fort Worth unpaid overtime attorneys at FH Law Group have handled many overtime disputes, we can evaluate your situation and analyze whether an exception applies.
Remedies Available to Texas Employees Denied Overtime Pay
The remedies that may be sought by an employee who prevails in a claim for unpaid overtime include:
- Damages in the form of uncompensated overtime pay at 1.5 times the worker’s hourly rate
- Liquated damages
- Attorney fees and court costs
The liquidated damages component of the award amounts to a penalty imposed on the employer. This amount is capped at a level equal to the award for the unpaid overtime. Without the threat of liquidated damages, employers could simply deny overtime pay knowing that the only risk would be that they might be ordered to pay it at a later date. The employer could voluntarily pay it at a subsequent time when the demand was made and experience no negative consequences for failing to pay when the overtime was due. For this reason, this component of the award is mandatory unless the employer can prove that the failure to pay overtime was in good faith. This standard is difficult for an employer to meet, so an employee will receive double overtime pay and the costs of suit in most cases where liability for overtime pay is established.
Parties on both sides of the employment relationship trust our law firm because the lawyers at FH Law Group are trial attorneys. Collectively, they have taken over a hundred cases to trial, which includes many jury trials. If you are involved in an unpaid overtime dispute, FH Law Group aggressively prosecutes and defends claims for overtime pay in Fort Worth or the surrounding areas of Tarrant County. Contact us today for a FREE consultation at (817) 697-4400 or visit our website.