Overtime and Wage & Hour Compliance
Helping Employers to Protect Their Interests
Our attorneys can help you to avoid costly governmental penalties and legal actions.
Government audits and private lawsuits – particularly class action lawsuits – make it critically important that employers know the law and be able to defend themselves in this area. Parsons Behle & Latimer’s employment attorneys have a long and successful record of helping employers to comply with the law and of defending employers when they are accused of violating it. Federal law and the law of many states set the requirements for minimum wage and overtime pay and determine which employees may be exempt from these requirements. Different states can have different requirements and an employer operating in more than one state must comply with all the requirements. A number of areas are particularly risky for employers and have been the focus of government enforcement actions and private lawsuits:
- Record keeping – Has the employer kept accurate records of hours worked by non-exempt employees?
- Recorded hours – Has the employer recorded all hours worked by non-exempt employees? Is there an “off-the-clock” work problem?
- Overtime hours – Has the employer correctly calculated overtime hours under both state and federal law?
- Overtime pay rate – Has the employer correctly determined the overtime rate, including the impact of productivity and similar bonuses?
- Exempt employees – Has the employer correctly determined which positions are exempt from overtime? Are some employees misclassified?
- Meal and rest breaks – Has the employer treated employees correctly for meal and rest breaks?
- Independent contractors – Are some contractors really employees?
The penalties and costs to an employer for violating the wage and hour laws can be surprisingly high. An employee or ex-employee who sues for unpaid overtime can seek recovery for three years, can rely on his own records or memory if the employer does not have accurate records, will have the amount of wages owed doubled in most cases, and will be entitled to have the employer pay his attorney fees and legal costs if the employee prevails. Class action lawsuits brought on behalf of all similarly situated employees are increasingly common and expensive. The U.S. Department of Labor can also seek recovery for a large number of current and former employees.