Unpaid Overtime Lawyer in Austin and Houston, Texas
McAllen, TX Unpaid Wages Lawyer
As a hardworking employee, you expect your wages to be paid out properly at the end of each pay period. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Many employers shortchange their employees to pad their bottom line. But luckily, workers with unpaid overtime have the right to file a claim against their employer to recover what they are owed. If you are an employee whose employer has failed to pay your overtime wages, call an unpaid overtime attorney McAllen, TX, with Leichter Law.
At Leichter Law, our Texas unpaid overtime lawyers have decades of experience representing employees in cases against their employers. It is illegal under state and federal law to deny a worker their overtime pay. If you believe your company or employer is withholding your pay, contact a skilled employment law attorney as soon as possible. Contact Leichter Law today by calling 512-495-9995 to schedule your consultation.
What Does Unpaid Overtime Mean in Texas?
According to federal minimum wage and overtime laws, non-exempt employees who work over 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to overtime wages. When an employer fails to pay an employee for their overtime hours, this is known as unpaid overtime. Both Texas and federal laws give employees the right to file a lawsuit against their employer for unpaid overtime wages.
When you discover that you have not been receiving overtime pay you are entitled to, contact the unpaid overtime lawyers at Leichter Law. The sooner you call, the better, as you only have two to three years to file.
Texas wage and hour laws state that claimants have two years to file an unpaid overtime wage lawsuit. However, this time limit could be extended to three years if an employer intentionally shorts an employee.
Unpaid Wages, Wage Theft, and Overtime Compensation in McAllen
When it comes to cases involving unpaid overtime wages, certain other terms are common to hear. These terms are unpaid wages, wage theft, and overtime compensation.
Unpaid wages, also called a withheld salary, are wages that an employer owes an employee but fails to pay them. Unpaid wage claims can arise from both intentional and unintentional actions by employers. For example, administrative mistakes can lead to an unintentional withholding of wages. However, other situations, such as intentionally miscategorizing an employee, can also lead to unpaid wages.
Wage theft is the term used when an employer fails to provide proper compensation to their workers as mandated by federal or state laws. Employers employ various tactics to commit wage theft, such as appropriating tips, demanding unpaid work hours, breaching minimum wage statutes, and neglecting overtime payments. Should you find yourself in a situation where your employer has withheld your rightfully earned wages, don’t hesitate to contact the legal team at Leichter Law for assistance.
Overtime compensation, often referred to as “time and a half,” is calculated at one and a half times an employee’s standard hourly wage. For instance, if an individual’s regular hourly wage is $15, their overtime rate would be $22.50. Once an employee logs a cumulative 40 hours in a workweek, any additional hours worked should be compensated at this higher overtime rate. While this rule applies to a broad spectrum of employees across various industries, it’s important to note that not every worker qualifies for overtime compensation.
What Jobs Are Considered Exempt from Overtime Pay in Texas?
Federal labor regulations stipulate that the majority of workers are eligible for overtime wages. Nevertheless, particular professions within specific sectors fall under the exempt category, barring them from overtime pay. Below, we explain in detail the distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees in the state of Texas.
Exempt vs Non-Exempt Employees
Exempt and non-exempt workers share many similarities, but their primary contrast lies in how they are paid for extra hours worked. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines the distinctions between these employee categories. To be considered exempt from receiving overtime pay, an employee needs to satisfy at least one of the below conditions.
If they have an administrative role, they may be exempt from overtime pay if they engage in office tasks and make important business decisions independently. They must also make at least $684 to be exempt from overtime under the FLSA.
If they have a computer-related role, their core duties revolve around systems analysis, computer systems management, programming, and related responsibilities. These roles must not involve manual labor, and their gross weekly pay must not fall below $684 to be considered an exempt employee. If they receive hourly compensation, the rate must be at least $27.63 per hour.
If they have an executive role, their main duties include overseeing business operations, making crucial hiring and firing decisions, and other important decisions. To be considered exempt, they must also receive a weekly salary of no less than $684.
If they have an outside sales role, they frequently work outside of their physical office. Their main duties include acquiring contracts, making sales, or getting orders for their business. For outside sales roles, minimum salaries do not determine an employee’s exemption.
If their occupation falls within a professional category like accounting, engineering, teaching, biology, architecture, or similar professions, they may be exempt. Creative professionals are included and encompass roles such as writers, actors, artists, musicians, and others. To be exempt from overtime, they should also receive a weekly salary of at least $684. There are other exemptions, but these are the most common.
What Is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal labor law in the United States that was enacted in 1938. Its primary purpose is to establish and regulate labor standards, including minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor provisions, and record-keeping requirements for employers.
Your Rights Under the FLSA
Legally, you can sue your current or former employer for denying or withholding the overtime pay you earned. This is a right provided by the FLSA for both individuals and groups of employees.
Also according to the FLSA, if a company has breached overtime wage laws, they might be required to compensate you for twice the original sum of overtime wages. In a successful claim, the company may even be required to cover your attorney and court costs.
How Do Employers Deny Overtime Pay?
It’s common knowledge that many companies and employers care more about protecting their bottom line than rewarding their employees for their hard work. If an employee claims they are owed overtime wages, many employers will bend the truth or threaten employees to avoid paying. Below, we list several ways that employers try to avoid paying overtime.
- Claiming they didn’t know about your overtime
- Averaging hours across multiple weeks
- Paying compensatory time instead of overtime
- Not paying because of an employee’s citizenship or legal status
- Claiming the employee’s work did not count as “beneficial work time”
- Misclassifying employees as exempt. Just because you are paid a salary does not mean you are not entitled to overtime.
- Requiring employees to work off the clock before or after their shift or during meal breaks
What Workers Are Most Often Denied Overtime Compensation?
Overtime pay can be unfairly denied to any worker, but some groups of employees are more frequently denied the wages they have earned. Here are a few examples of these occupations.
Misclassification is one of the most common ways employers will try to deny overtime pay. When an employer intentionally misclassifies you as an independent contractor to avoid paying what you are owed, this is known as misclassification. However, what many employers don’t understand is that independent contractors are not automatically exempt from overtime. Contact an unpaid overtime lawyer if you are an independent contractor who has been denied overtime pay.
Many employers also assume that workers who are paid day rates or salaries do not qualify for overtime. However, many salaried employees and day rate workers are non-exempt from overtime compensation. Oil and gas workers are frequently denied overtime on this basis, even though many times it is unfounded.
Companies and employers also take advantage of their janitorial staff by failing to pay their overtime wages. Janitorial staff are an important part of our society, as they keep our workplaces clean. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop many employers from denying the overtime they earned.
Healthcare workers like nurses and LVNs often work long hours late into the night. Despite this, their employers often still deny their overtime payment. Nurses and LVNs who are facing wage disputes at their workplace should contact a nurses overtime attorney at Leichter Law today.
Someone can be considered a tipped employee if they regularly make more than $30 in monthly tips. Examples of these employees include restaurant and hotel staff. When a tipped employee is denied overtime they earned, or if their employer steals their tips, this is a serious wage dispute. Tipped employees who are experiencing wage disputes at work should contact the experienced employment attorneys at Leichter Law as soon as possible.
In recent years, the need for call center employees has greatly increased. This is due to the sharp increase in the number of services provided to consumers. Unfortunately, workers in call centers often face wage disputes such as unpaid overtime. If you are a call center worker who has been denied your overtime wages, contact our employment lawyers today.
How Can I Sue for Unpaid Overtime in McAllen?
First, we strongly recommend securing legal representation for your case. Your employer or company will surely have an attorney, or maybe a team of attorneys, on their side. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay overtime compensation when earned. If your employer violates the FLSA, you may have the basis for a lawsuit.
Employment laws are complex, and employers will use them against their employees whenever they can. By working with an employment law firm, you can protect your rights and your compensation. An attorney can also ensure that you file your claim before the statute of limitations runs out.
How Much Can I Recover for an Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit?
In a successful unpaid overtime claim, you could recover double the amount your employer originally owed you. Some cases even see the defendant paying for the plaintiff’s court costs and attorney fees.
What Is the Minimum Wage in McAllen, TX?
The McAllen minimum wage is $7.25, which is the same as the federal minimum wage. This has been the minimum wage in McAllen since the last wage increase in 2009.
Why Choose Leichter Law?
At Leichter Law, our experienced employment attorneys are highly skilled, with decades of experience in their field. Other law offices may have employment lawyers, but only a select few have lawyers who are board-certified in labor and employment law. Our employment law specialist, David Langenfeld, has decades of experience representing employees in cases involving unpaid wages, wrongful termination, employment contracts, workplace discrimination, and more. He represents both salaried employees and hourly employees in cases against their employers.
At Leichter Law, we believe in standing up for what’s right. That means ensuring that your voice is heard and your rights are protected in your case.
Contact McAllen Employment Lawyers at Leichter Law Today
If you’re facing workplace disputes like unpaid overtime, wrongful termination, workers’ compensation retaliation, sexual harassment, age discrimination, or other issues, the Leichter Law team has you covered. Our law office houses some of the best employment lawyers in Texas, so you can rest assured that your case will be in good hands.
To schedule a consultation with our Texas employment lawyers, please call our office at 512-495-9995 today.