San Antonio Overtime Lawyer
Unpaid Overtime Attorney in San Antonio, TX
After a long week at work, the last thing you’d want to discover is an issue with your paycheck. Those extra hours you put in should rightfully translate to overtime compensation. However, instead of receiving time and a half, your pay only reflects your regular wages. This discrepancy could stem from being mistakenly categorized as a salaried exempt employee or an independent contractor, resulting in the denial of your rightful overtime earnings. If your employer has shorted your wages, it’s important to contact a San Antonio overtime lawyer as soon as possible.
You’ve worked diligently for that overtime pay, and it’s essential to ensure you receive what you’ve earned. If your employer has neglected to provide the wages you are owed, you might have a valid claim for unpaid wages. Contact an unpaid overtime attorney at Leichter Law to explore your options. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (512) 495-9995 to arrange your free, no-obligation consultation.
What Is Unpaid Overtime?
Unpaid overtime is a form of wage theft, which is illegal under federal and state employment laws. When an employee has unpaid overtime, they work more than 40 hours in a week, but their employer does not pay them overtime for the extra hours.
As an example, let’s imagine an oil field worker whose hourly rate is $20 an hour. That worker clocks 50 hours in one week. For the first 40 hours, that worker earns their regular rate of pay. For the next 10 hours, they should earn time and a half, or 1.5 times their hourly rate. Their rate of $20 an hour would rise to $30 for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
So, if their employer pays them for their overtime wages, they should earn $1,100. However, if their employer pays their regular hourly rate for their 10 hours of overtime, they would earn only $1,000. Legally, the worker is entitled to overtime pay for the 10 extra hours they worked.
Wage Theft, Unpaid Wages, and Overtime Compensation in San Antonio
As many Texas employment lawyers know, several other terms are commonly used when discussing unpaid overtime cases. When wage disputes arise, we often hear terms like wage theft, unpaid wages, and overtime compensation.
Wage theft refers to the situation in which an employer neglects to compensate their employees in accordance with federal or state regulations. There are many ways employers can engage in wage theft, including stealing tips, requiring off-the-clock work, violating minimum wage laws, and failing to pay overtime hours. If your employer failed to pay what you earned, contact the employment lawyers at Leichter Law.
Unpaid wages are earnings that you earned but that your employer fails to pay you. These cases can arise from many circumstances, including administrative errors, violating minimum wage laws, benefits disputes, miscategorization, and others.
Overtime compensation is “time and a half” of an employee’s regular hourly rate. So, if their hourly rate is $15, their overtime rate is $22.50. Once someone works a total of 40 hours in a week, any extra hours they work should be paid at the overtime rate. This applies to many types of employees in many industries, but not every employee is entitled to overtime pay.
What Industries Are Exempt from Overtime Pay in Texas?
According to federal labor laws, most employees can receive overtime pay. However, certain employees in certain industries are considered exempt from overtime compensation. In the following section, we outline exempt vs non-exempt employees in Texas.
Exempt vs Non-Exempt Employees
Exempt and non-exempt employees are very similar, with their main difference being overtime compensation. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) outlines the differences between exempt and non-exempt employees. For an employee to be exempt from overtime compensation, they must meet at least one of the following criteria.
- Administrative roles: They make at least $684 a week, perform office tasks, and have the ability to use their own judgment about business decisions.
- Computer roles: They make at least $684 a week or $27.63 an hour. Their job does not involve manual labor, and their main obligations involve computer tasks, program tasks, or systems analysis.
- Executive roles: They make at least $684 a week, manage the business, hire employees, fire employees, and use their own judgment to make business decisions.
- Outside sales roles: They work outside their place of business on a regular basis, getting contracts, orders, or sales for the business. Unlike other roles, minimum salaries do not apply for outside sales employees.
- Professional roles: They make at least $684 a week and have a role such as teaching, accounting, engineering, or creative professions.
It’s important to remember that just because an employee earns a salary, this does not automatically make them exempt from overtime pay. As long as an employee does not primarily perform exempt duties, they are entitled to overtime pay.
What Are the Federal Overtime Laws?
Broadly speaking, the origins of federal laws concerning overtime in the workplace can be traced back to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which was put into effect in 1938. This legislation aimed to improve working conditions for workers, set a federal minimum wage, institute rules for overtime compensation, oversee child labor practices, and define standards for employer recordkeeping.
Overtime Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
As mentioned before, the FLSA is a federal law that requires employers to pay overtime to non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek. All hours worked over 40 in a workweek must be compensated at 1.5 times the regular pay rate. If your employer fails to pay what you are owed, the FLSA gives you the right to legally correct the issue.
Specifically, the FLSA includes sections for workers who want to file a claim for unpaid wages. In other words, you have the right to sue your employer for failure to pay the wages you earned. If someone is found to have violated wage laws in state or federal court, they must generally pay double the unpaid amount. They may also be required to pay your attorney fees and court costs.
What Are Common Ways Employers Violate Unpaid Overtime Laws?
If an employer intentionally shortchanges an employee, chances are that they are looking for opportunities to continue those illegal actions. In many cases, employers will lie or tamper with records to justify their underpayment. Some common examples of shady tactics include averaging hours, paying compensatory time, using an employee’s legal status against them, and claiming that an employee’s work was not considered “beneficial work time.”
What Workers Are Commonly Denied Overtime Pay?
Technically, any employer can deny any employee their earned overtime compensation. That being said, certain industries are notorious for wage disputes. Examples of positions commonly denied overtime pay include independent contractors, oil and gas workers, nurses and LVNs, tipped employees, janitorial workers, and call center employees.
Many employers attempt to shortchange their employees by classifying them as independent contractors. However, what they don’t understand is that contractors are not automatically exempt from overtime compensation. If you are an independent contractor who has unpaid wages, contact a San Antonio employment lawyer with our firm as soon as possible.
Another common misconception is that workers who are paid day rates, salaries, or who are classified as independent contractors are not entitled to overtime. In fact, misclassification is a common problem in the oil and gas industry. If you are an oil or gas worker with unpaid wages, call our office as soon as possible to explore your options.
Nurses and LVNs work long, tiring hours. Unfortunately, many healthcare workers are the victims of unpaid overtime. Despite their dedication to their field, many employers care more about their bottom line than paying their employees fairly. If you are a nurse or LVN who is facing a wage dispute, contact our unpaid overtime attorneys today.
Tipped employees, such as those at restaurants or hotels, are also frequent victims of wage theft. An employee who regularly makes more than $30 in monthly tips can be considered a tipped employee. If you are a tipped employee who suspects that your employer is not paying what you’re owed, contact an unpaid wages lawyer with Leichter Law today.
Janitorial staff are far more important than most people realize. They put in long hours and work hard to keep our spaces clean and tidy. Many employers of janitorial workers purposefully short their employees to protect their bottom line. However, this is a highly illegal practice that could result in serious penalties. If you are a janitorial worker with unpaid wages in Texas, contact Leichter Law today.
In an increasingly service-focused economy, the need for call center employees has increased in recent years. Many call center employees field hundreds of calls each day, which can be incredibly taxing. Sadly, many companies and employers in this industry fail to properly track their employees’ time. They may even require off-the-clock work. Both of those practices could be considered wage theft.
How to Sue for Unpaid Overtime in San Antonio
The best way to learn if you have a case and take action is to contact experienced employment lawyers about your situation. Overtime compensation laws are often complicated, but an attorney can help you navigate the claims process. These cases may or may not wind up in state and federal courts, which is why having an attorney is so crucial. Your company or employer will have attorneys on their side, so you should, too.
How Much of My Unpaid Overtime Can I Recover?
In a successful unpaid overtime claim, you can recover the wages your employer originally failed to pay you. You could also recover liquidated damages, which are a form of compensation for waiting to be paid what you were owed. Damages are also often awarded for court costs and attorney fees.
What Is the Minimum Wage in San Antonio?
The minimum wage in San Antonio is the same as the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour. This has been the minimum wage in San Antonio since its last increase in 2009.
Why Should I Choose Leichter Law for My Labor and Employment Law Case?
When dealing with wage and labor disputes, it’s important to work with a law office that has considerable experience representing clients in case types like yours. At Leichter Law, our labor and employment attorney, David Langenfeld, is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
David has decades of experience representing employees in wage and hour disputes. His legal specialization is a marker of his skill and knowledge in the area of employment law. Of over 90,000 lawyers in the state of Texas, under 10% have a Board Certified legal specialization. Of those Board Certified attorneys, less than 1% are Board Certified in labor and employment law.
When you work with the team at Leichter Law, you’ll be working with the best employment lawyers in Texas.
Contact an Employment Law Attorney with Leichter Law Today
At the Leichter Law Firm P.C., our labor and employment law attorneys have extensive experience handling unpaid overtime claims. If your employer has shorted your wages, don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm. The statute of limitations for filing your claim may be shorter than you realize. To schedule a consultation with us, please call our office at 512-495-9995 today.
Along with wage disputes, we also handle cases involving employment contracts, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, severance agreements, and workers’ compensation retaliation.