The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employees be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Overtime pay must be equal to at least time and one-half the employee’s regular pay rate. There is no limit imposed by the Act for the number of hours that any employee may work in one workweek.
When economic times are tough, employers try to make do with fewer employees. This means those people left on the job are doing their own jobs as well as taking on the work of those who were cut. Companies will try to cut costs wherever they can, and sometimes this means the illegal withholding of overtime wages, or even regular wages from employees working off the clock. Unfortunately, it tends to be a practice not directed at a few specific people, but a tactic used across the board, and it has led to FLSA collective action lawsuits being filed to recover the lost wages.
What is Collective Action?
Collective action is a way for employees who find themselves “similarly situated” in an unfair labor practice to file suit against their employer and assert their rights. They do not have to be working in the same department or location of the company, but they have to be working under a common policy or design set forth by the company. For instance, if the company handbook for all the cashiers at a grocery chain required them to appear 15 minutes before the start of their shift so that they can change into their uniforms and prepare the cash drawers, then the cashiers could file a collective action suit for the unpaid 15 minutes of work each day. If one employee tried to file suit alone, it might be hard to find a law firm willing to take on a case involving a single person’s lost wages. This is why the FLSA provides the opportunity to use collective action.
Should You join a Collective Action Lawsuit?
A collective action can be a way to save time and money to achieve your goal, but if your individual case is very strong, consult with our offices. An experienced employment lawyer can help you decide the best course of action to achieve the best possible outcome.
Delaware County Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Represent Workers in Wage and Hour Disputes
Delaware County employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help you file for unpaid overtime. It is very simple – if you have done the work, your employer should pay you. Contact us online or call 215-569-1999 for a free consultation.