Many employers have gotten themselves into legal trouble by misclassifying their employees as exempt from overtime when, in fact, their employees do not meet the federally mandated requirements for overtime exemption as defined by the Fair Labor Standards act. An employer probably would not help the situation by paying overtime to some employees while refusing to pay other employees performing similar job functions.
Such is allegedly the case in a recent case our Chicago overtime lawyers have reviewed. In Tammy D. Lewis et al v. Maximus Inc. Lewis began working for Maximus Inc. on June 5, 2006 and was eventually promoted to the position of workforce analyst (otherwise referred to as workforce management analyst). After her promotion, she was allegedly misclassified as exempt from overtime.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, in order to qualify for overtime, an employee must be paid an annual salary and fit into one of three categories. Those categories are administrative, executive, and professional. Rather than simply allowing employers to label their workers as they please to avoid overtime payments, the Fair Labor Standards Act has specific guidelines for the kinds of responsibilities which employees must have in order to qualify for overtime exemption. The administrative category, for example, requires an employee to directly support an executive. For the executive category, an employee must manage other employees who report directly to her. In order to fulfill the requirements for the professional category, employees must use a certain set of skills or training in order to perform their jobs. No matter how an employee is labeled, if the job that they perform does not fulfill the requirements of one of these categories, they cannot legally be exempted from overtime.
Lewis, in her position as a workforce management analyst, alleges that she did not manage other employees, nor was she involved in any decisions regarding hiring, firing, or establishing pay rates. In February 2013, according to Lewis’s overtime attorney, a supervisor asked Lewis to calculate her hours on a weekly basis over the past three years. Lewis alleges that she regularly worked in excess of 40 hours per week for the three years that she has worked as a workforce management analyst for Maximus Inc. She estimates that she worked more than 6,000 hours of overtime during those three years. Despite all that overtime, Lewis was allegedly never paid more than her annual salary of $35,000.
According to the lawsuit, Maximus Inc. allegedly paid other employees with similar job duties the proper overtime compensation, but they balked at the sheer number of overtime hours clocked by Lewis and refused to pay her for it. Lewis believes Maximus Inc. owes her at least $120,000 in overtime wages.
Lewis is now filing a class action lawsuit against Maximus Inc. on behalf of all employees of the company who are similarly situated, including employees with either the job title or duties of workforce analyst. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas. It is seeking an award of damages for unpaid overtime, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, court costs, and interest.
The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against governements and large corporations such as Hyatt Hotels, Walmart and other companies for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The Illinois overtime attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Arlington Hts. and Mt. Prospect. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Hinsdale and Evanston overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.