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Birmingham’s economy has been on the rise with the recent growth experienced around the country, but that expansion has not seen a reduction in employers attempting to take advantage of their workers by expecting longer hours, sometimes without pay. Some of Birmingham’s industries, such as tourism, steel manufacturing, or shipping, are highly susceptible to wage theft, particularly during the holidays or when trying to meet specific deadlines.
However, these problems persist year-round. At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys in Birmingham understand the seriousness of having your wages withheld by an unfriendly employer, and are ready to help you seek the compensation you deserve for your time. Simply fill out our free, no-obligation case review form today.
Who is Covered Under Overtime Laws in Birmingham?
Alabama has no dedicated overtime law but is governed by federal law, specifically the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA covers the following individuals:
- Any employee of an enterprise engaged in interstate commerce which has gross receipts of at least $500,000 per year
- Any domestic worker who earns at least $1,700 per year or works at least eight hours per week
- Any employee of a hospital or other institution caring for the sick, aged, or mentally ill
Realistically, this covers the majority of Birmingham employees, so you’re likely covered and might be missing out.
Violations Might Not Always Be Obvious
Most FLSA violations are not as clear as having to work more than 40 hours in a week but not get paid the time-and-a-half premium for your extra time. The majority of Florida wage and hour violations — much like other types of violations — are subtle, and many employees have gone years being deprived wages they earned because of that subtlety.
Work Employees are supposed to be compensated for the entire time they are furthering their employer’s business, even if it exceeds 40 hours a week. Yet some employers require their employees to perform work either before clocking in or after clocking out. This can mean requiring you to do a variety of things, like clean up after your shift, travel through security checkpoints or traverse across a facility to a distant worksite, or putting on extensive safety equipment and uniforms before clocking in. Fifteen minutes of extra work a day might seem inconsequential, but that’s more than an hour a week, more than a week a year, and up to several months over the course of a career, all unpaid.
It’s a common misconception that all salaried employees in Alabama are exempt from receiving overtime pay. In truth, only bona fide managers, executives, professionals, and administrative workers exercising independent judgment can be exempt from overtime pay, according to the duties tests outlined in the FLSA. If your job duties qualify you for one of these exemptions, you can be asked to work more than 40 hours without receiving any extra pay or overtime bonus.
Alternatively, some workers are misclassified as independent contractors so their employers can avoid paying them overtime. There are is a fact-intensive, rigorous legal test for distinguishing between an employee and an independent contractor, and includes a variety of variables such as the nature of your work, the amount of supervision you receive, where the work is performed, and who provides your tools, among other questions.
A Birmingham Employment Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Rights
Being denied your hard earned wages can be more than troublesome, it could be the difference between making rent and having enough to keep the lights on. Even if you didn’t need the money for essentials, you’re still entitled to it because you put in work, and the law says you are to be paid for all your work. If you believe your employer in Birmingham has wrongfully deprived you of overtime pay, our team of overtime attorneys may be able to help.
At Morgan & Morgan, we can help you by discussing your options and investigating your claim, if the circumstances of your case merit legal action. Please contact us for a free case evaluation today to learn more about how one of our attorneys may be able to help.