It can be hard enough to find a job that pays you a fair wage at all. But with that job comes a right not only to your regular wages, but oftentimes overtime pay as well. It’s a troubling ordeal when your employer tries to deprive you of rightfully earned overtime pay, but those in the Boston area have options if their fair wages are denied.
The overtime attorneys in Morgan & Morgan’s Boston office have years of experience assisting workers who were denied proper compensation. If you feel you are being deprived of wages by an employer, an overtime lawyer from Morgan & Morgan may be able to help. It is illegal to retaliate against employees who speak up for their rights, so don’t be intimidated by your employer’s threats of retaliation.
To find out how our attorneys may be able to help you recover unpaid overtime and other lost wages, please complete our case review form for a free evaluation of your claim.
How Employers Deny Employees Overtime
The type of employment you have and the industry you work in determine if you can be paid for overtime. Massachusetts law has a set list of occupations and industries that are excluded from overtime pay.
If not on that list, however, you may be entitled to overtime pay of one and a half times your regular wage for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours. Still, even if you are legally entitled to overtime pay, there are employers who will use a number of tactics to attempt to avoid it.
Some common ways that employers will routinely violate overtime law include off-the-clock work and misclassification.
Working “Off the Clock”
Employees are supposed to be compensated for the entire length of time they are furthering their employer’s business, even if it exceeds 40 hours per week. Yet, some employers require their employees to perform work either before clocking in or after clocking out. Even small tasks before or after your shift will start to add up. Spending just five minutes off the clock completing an extra task can add up to hours of unpaid labor in just a couple of weeks. Before you know it, a year has passed and there is a substantial amount of money you are owed but have not received.
Another way employers may try to reduce paying employees fair wages is by misclassifying them. Standard wage and hour laws don’t apply to those who are labeled as independent contractors, but sometimes employees are mislabeled as independent contractors so their employers can avoid paying them overtime. There is a multi-factored and fact-intensive legal test for distinguishing between an employee and an independent contractor.
This test looks at the nature of your work, the amount of supervision you receive, where your work is performed, and who provides your tools, among other factors. There are a number of other ways that employers can misclassify their employees so as to not have to pay them overtime, even though they are entitled to it. This can include classifying an employee as salaried instead of hourly, so that they don’t believe that they are entitled to overtime pay. All of these tactics are illegal under Massachusetts law.
How an Attorney Can Help
At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys have an expert understanding not only of Massachusetts overtime law, but of federal overtime law according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). We may be able to help you file a claim under the FLSA to recover unpaid wages. These claims may permit you to recover double the amount of damages you incurred as a result of the wage law violation, attorneys’ fees and related legal costs.
With so many different ways employers try to game the system and avoid paying employees a fair wage, it becomes more and more important for employees to know their rights. If you are not sure about whether you are a victim of wage theft, it may be time to contact an experienced wage & hour attorney.
Contact Morgan & Morgan Today
As time passes, an employer’s refusal to pay you overtime can really add up, no matter how small it may seem at first. Don’t hesitate to contact our overtime attorneys to give yourself a chance to recover the overtime pay you’ve earned For more information, fill out our case review form at no cost or obligation.