New York City FLSA Lawyers
For a lot of people, the so-called “9 to 5 job” is just that—a job with so-called hours that don’t exist in the real world. Working over 40 hours per week is far from uncommon. Federal law requires that certain classes of employees be paid overtime—that is, they must be paid at 1.5x their normal rate for any hour worked over and above 40 per week. This is mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unfortunately, there are cases where employees aren’t paid what they deserve, and they need a New York City FLSA lawyer who can fight to help make things right.
Brown Kwon & Lam believes people should be able to get legal counsel that is accessible, professional, and aggressive in fighting for their interests. From our New York City office, we serve employees in Long Island, Westchester County, New York and New Jersey.
Exempt Employees in Overtime Pay
Not every employee has to get overtime pay. Certain employees are considered “exempt” from the law’s protections. Where controversy—and potentially illegal activity on the part of the employer—can occur is when employees are not properly classified.
For management to classify an employee as exempt from overtime pay protections, that employee must meet certain standards on both pay and the type of work they do. The state of New York requires that any exempt employee be making at least $455 per week. This must come in the form of a guaranteed salary, not hourly wages which can be subject to fluctuation.
If the salary requirement is meant, it is then necessary that the employee’s duties fall into any of the following categories…
Executive: Management personnel is not guaranteed overtime pay. The person who has direct authority over at least two other employees, which can include the authority of hiring and firing, might be exempt.
Administrative: It’s important to note here that the administrative tasks performed must be fundamental to the operations of the business. It would be an abuse of the rules if every employee who performs manual work such as filing, and data entry were classified as an exempt. And it would be something our New York City FLSA attorneys can look into.
Professional: The term “professional” is subjective, but it is generally understood to be work that requires substantial training and independent judgement. A “creative professional” can also be one who does work that calls for original thought. These roles can be exempt from overtime pay.
Computers: For an employer to classify their computer employees as exempt, the role must be substantial—such as being the company’s IT person, a systems analyst, or engineer. This exemption cannot apply to everyone who has basic functionality with their office computer.
Brown Kwon & Lam has a deep understanding of how the Fair Labor Standards Act is to be applied in the practical life of an employee.
Common ways the Fair Labor Standards Act rules on overtime pay are violated might include taking someone who works at a desk with a computer and trying to claim either an administrative or computer exemption. Another way could be considering a person as an executive, even if they don’t have the full scope of authority over those they work with on a daily basis.
It’s not hard to see where employers could do anything from make an honest mistake in classification to acting with less than honorable intentions. From our position as New York City FLSA lawyers, the intentions of the employer matter less than doing what it takes for our employee clients to get the back pay they deserve. Let us fight for you.