Our country passed legislation over a century ago to protect employees from being abused and taken advantage of by employers. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) established a national minimum wage, as well as an obligation for overtime. Just because FLSA laws were passed decades ago, doesn’t mean that all companies are compliant. Gary Falkowitz has helped many clients that have been taken advantage of by their employers. You are entitled to all of the lost wages that your employer has been holding on out on you.


What does the FLSA cover?

There are two main parts of the FLSA. The first part is a mandatory minimum wage that is federally regulated. If you are working for a company that is not providing you with a minimum wage that is illegal. However, we do not really see a lot of these cases because the minimum wage of New York is higher than that of the federal minimum wage.

The next part of the FLSA covers over time. When you work over 40 hours in a workweek you are entitled to overtime. Your overtime should be 1 ½ time the amount of your regular wage. The laws for overtime can be complex, which is why you need an expert. If you feel like you aren’t receiving your full overtime you should contact our office. We see many cases where employees are misclassified to make them ineligible for overtime. For example, your company could have you listed as an independent contractor, instead of a full-time employee. We would love to help you recover any of your lost wages. In some cases, we can also recover damages.

There are some employees that are exempt from overtime, like:

  • Administrative employees
  • Those working in a creative field
  • Executives
  • Computer programmers and analysts
  • Software engineers
  • Employees working in outside sales
  • High compensate employees

Overtime laws are complex, and we can help you with your case. Schedule an appointment to learn about overtime laws, and to decide whether you have grounds to file a claim. FLSA violations can be confusing, but we have the experience to help you navigate the process.


What kind of compensation can I get?

If you feel like you have an FLSA claim, you could recover your lost wages. The first way we try to recover damages is getting you compensation for your lost wages with interest. The FLSA will also allow you to receive damages to cover your lawyer’s fees. Punitive damages can even be recovered in certain situations. We can’t tell you exactly what you’re eligible for until you come into our office. Every case is different, and we will work to get you the compensation that is owed to you. We want to efficiently handle your case so that you can get your money as quickly as possible.


The most common FLSA questions:

When will current FLSA changes take effect?

Since the FLSA has been around for over a century, changes are needed to keep the legislation current. In 2017 there were changes to the FLSA, but they have not been approved. If these changes are ever approved, they would begin January 1, 2020.


Who is protected by the FLSA?

Employees that are full-time and part-time are covered by the FLSA. This includes employees that are in private and government jobs. However, there are different regulations that apply to nonexempt and exempt employees.


Which employees are exempt from the FLSA?

Employees that are exempt under the FLSA will not receive overtime pay. Any employee in a salaried position, that makes over $23,660 a year, is not eligible to receive overtime pay. Other exempt employees are loaders, commissioned salespeople, and farmers. There is an estimation that almost 8 million people are not classified correctly.

Even if you’re a salaried employee, that makes over $23,660 a year, you aren’t automatically exempt. I know this sounds confusing since we just stated that they were. However, there are many different levels of salaried employees. You have to read the standards to determine if they are exempt. A Long Island employment lawyer experienced in FLSA law will know how to direct you. These confusing regulations are why we encourage clients to seek the counsel of an attorney.


Is it illegal to not pay overtime?

Anytime you work over 40 hours in a workweek, and you’re not exempt, you should be receiving overtime. A workweek is defined as a period of 7 consecutive days. Some states also have specific overtime rules, so you should consult New York State’s regulations.


Do employers have to pay even if overtime is unauthorized?

Yes. Anytime a non-exempt employee works over 40 hours a week they must receive overtime. There are some situations where an employer might ask you to clock out to avoid overtime. This is also illegal. You should never work when you aren’t clocked in, even if this is going to force your employer to pay you overtime.


Who keeps track of FLSA overtime exemptions?

It is the employer’s responsibility to determine who is exempt from overtime. If your employer misclassifies you, then you could be missing out on wages. This is the perfect example of an FLSA violation.


What is the salary threshold?

The current salary threshold is $23,660 a year. This threshold can change, and more than likely will over the next few years.


Why would you need a duty test?

This is a test that HR can perform to determine which employees are exempt. Most of these employees would be in executive, administrative, computer-based and other professional roles. More information about this can be found on the FLSA site.


Do employers have to pay employees for travel time?

It depends. Traveling while on the clock can be compensated. However, traveling from home to work is not.

You can tell that there FLSA laws are a complicated network of rules and regulations. If you feel that you are being taken advantage of by your employer, it’s time to fight back. Contact our office to schedule your free consultation. We’re here to ensure that you get your lost wages and everything else that is owed to you.