Federal Overtime Law and Texas Overtime Law
Are You Entitled to Overtime Pay: Exempt v. Non-Exempt
Whether an employee is entitled to overtime pay depends on two main factors:
Under this test, almost all hourly employees and many salaried employees are entitled to overtime pay, including unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages (double damages), attorneys' fees and costs if they have been denied overtime pay in the past two or three years.
The New Overtime Law
In August 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new overtime rules expanding the overtime protections enjoyed by hourly and salaried employees. Under these new overtime regulations, employees who receive less than $23,660 per year automatically are eligible for overtime pay. On the other hand, employees who earn $100,000 or more annually and regularly perform exempt duties no longer are eligible for overtime pay. The new overtime law also clarified the FLSA's overtime requirements for the executive and administrative exemptions.
What's Inside Your Employer's "Bag of Tricks": Common Overtime Violations
Employers understand that overtime law is complex and difficult for employees to understand without assistance. Employers often utilize similar tricks and ploys to deny employees Texas overtime pay. Employees who are able to recognize them are better equipped to protect their overtime rights. In addition to an employer flatly refusing to answer employees' questions about overtime pay, these tactics include:
1. The "Reclassification" Myth
In these situations, your employer probably violated your overtime rights from the start and reclassified your position only after learning about the violation. Because your duties didn't change, your reclassification may amount to an admission that the company violated overtime law. Your employer's reclassification without paying you back overtime wages also may constitute a "willful" violation.
Under Texas overtime law, all employees must receive overtime pay unless they are paid a salary of at least $455 per workweek and perform duties satisfying one of the recognized overtime exemptions. If your employer cannot prove that one of these narrow exemptions apply, you may be entitled to overtime pay.
4. The "Straight Time Only" Myth
5. The "Unauthorized Overtime" Myth
6. Stealing Time.
7. The "Commissioned Employee" Myth
Texas overtime law normally permits employees to recover unpaid overtime for work performed beginning two years before a lawsuit is filed (and continuing "forward" until the case is resolved). This limitations period increases to three years before a lawsuit is filed if your employer "knew" that its pay practices violated the FLSA, but "disregarded" these obligations.
It is important for employees to understand that the limitations period on overtime claims continues to run until a lawsuit is filed. This means that a complaint to your supervisor, the company, or the Department of Labor (Labor Board) generally will not “stop the clock.” For this reason, employees should obtain all necessary facts to understand their overtime pay rights and file suit as soon as they learn that their employer violated overtime law.
Contact a Dallas Overtime Lawyer
Dallas employment lawyer Barry Hersh dedicates a significant part of his practice to resolving Texas wage and compensation disputes with a special emphasis on recovering Texas overtime pay for employees and individuals misclassified as independent contractors. To submit your claim for a free evaluation, contact us here.