Columbus Misclassification Attorney
Employers frequently avoid paying overtime wages as required by misclassifying employees as “exempt” from overtime when they should be classified as “non-exempt”. Non-exempt employees are typically paid hourly and are entitled to be paid the applicable overtime rate (1.5 times their regularly hourly rate) when more than 40 hours per week are worked for all hours over 40. Exempt employees must be paid a fixed salary instead of hourly but are not be entitled to overtime wages for hours over 40 hours per week if they are properly classified as exempt from overtime. Exempt employees’ salary must be “fixed” in that it cannot be reduced based on the number of hours the employee works each week. If an employee’s pay is reduced when less than 40 hours per week are worked, the employee may have a claim for unpaid overtime for other weeks when more than 40 hours were worked because the employer does not pay a fixed “salary”.
Importantly, even if an employer does pay its employee a fixed salary above the FLSA’s minimum required salary ($455 per week), the employee can still only be properly classified as “exempt” if the employee primarily performs exempt job duties. Our Columbus Misclassification Lawyers typically find that this is where employers fail to follow the law. The FLSA permits employers to classify employees who primarily work in executive, administrative, or professional capacities as exempt from overtime wages if they are paid at least the minimum fixed salary discussed above (you can read the actual text of the FLSA on overtime exemptions here). But employees whose primary job duties do not fall within an exemption (i.e. laborers, factory workers, blue collar workers, etc.) must be paid overtime wages for every hour they work over 40 per week. Therefore, even if you have been paid a salary by your employer, you may be owed unpaid overtime wages if your employer improperly classified you as exempt from overtime wages based on your specific job duties. Whether your job duties are the type that require payment of overtime wages is determined on a case-by-case basis by our Columbus Overtime Attorneys. There are numerous other factors and additional exemptions that must be considered in determining whether an employee is owed unpaid overtime wages.
Additionally, employers also commonly misclassify workers as “independent contractors” instead of employees to reduce theirs costs of labor and to avoid paying overtime wages for hours worked over 40 per week. Employers often classify certain workers as independent contractors even when the circumstances of the work performed and the nature of the parties’ relationship require that the worker be classified and paid as an actual employee. This can be very beneficial to employers for a number of reasons, but often results in unpaid wages and lost benefits for the employee. If you believe that your employer should have classified and paid you as an employee instead of an independent contractor, you may be owed back wages, including overtime wages, for all work performed while you were misclassified. A number of factors must be considered when determining whether a worker has been misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, and our Columbus Employment Lawyers can discuss your unique circumstances with you (you can also read more about this issue here).
If you believe you may have an unpaid overtime claim because you may have been misclassified as exempt from overtime or improperly considered an independent contractor, contact our Columbus Misclassification Lawyer today to discuss your legal rights. You may have a valid overtime claim and speaking with an Ohio overtime attorney will ensure you know your rights.