Employers try many tricks to avoid paying overtime at time and half for all hours worked over 40 as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Ohio Fair Labor Standards Act. One of the employer’s big overtime tricks is to misclassify an employee as exempt or tell them no overtime is needed because the employee is paid a salary. As anyone of our experienced wage and hour attorneys will tell you, salaried employees are still entitled to overtime if they don’t fall into very specific exempt categories. This can often backfire against employers.
For example, a collective action lawsuit filed on behalf of 131 employees against Kraft Foods asserted that they were wrongly classified as salaried “route salespeople” in order to put them into an exempt outside sales category. However, according to the claims in the complaint, the employees really worked most of their hours driving between stores and checking inventory with little time actually spent on sales.
While Kraft initially disputed these facts, it did not want to leave this question in the hands of a jury. To that end, Kraft agreed to settle the lawsuit by paying $900,000 in damages as well as all the plaintiffs’ costs and attorneys’ fees, which will likely put the settlement value well over $1 million. U.S. District Judge William Orrick preliminarily approved the overtime settlement last week.
The moral of the story? If you are working over 40 hours per week and not being paid time and a half, check with an attorney to make sure what your legal rights are. Since meeting with one of our overtime law lawyers is free, you have nothing to lose.
If you have been denied minimum wages or not paid time and a half for your overtime hours, or even think that you might need an employment lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting employees’ wage rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Ohio wage law. The opportunity to meet directly with a wage and hour lawyer is just a phone call away. Your best choice is not to wait.
The wage and hour law materials available at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. It is best to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular employment law issue or problem. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm or any individual attorney.