Most people are familiar with the basics of overtime law. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), overtime is defined as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. Employees are entitled to one and one half times their normal hourly rate for all overtime worked. But there are other aspects of overtime law that many people are not as familiar with.
For example, if an employee earns non-discretionary bonus wages, then those extra wages need to be taken into account when calculating the employee’s overtime rate.
Seasons Hospice is currently facing an overtime class action lawsuit for allegedly failing to account for bonuses when calculating the overtime rate of its non-exempt employees. A non-exempt employee is a worker who does not qualify for the overtime exemption under the categories defined under the FLSA. The lawsuit alleges the employees received less overtime compensation than they should have as a result of Seasons Hospice’s failure to include their bonus wages.
Because the lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles, California, Seasons Hospice is also subject to California’s wage and hour laws. One of the laws that is unique to California is the requirement of regular breaks throughout the day for all non-exempt employees. For every four hours an employee spends working, she is entitled to one paid, uninterrupted rest break of at least ten minutes. For every five hours of work, she is entitled to one unpaid, uninterrupted meal break lasting at least half an hour. For every day an employee does not take one of these breaks, for any reason, she is entitled to one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages and bonuses earned that day.
The current overtime class action lawsuit alleges Seasons Hospice failed to provide its non-exempt employees with these mandatory breaks, and to properly compensate them for the breaks they missed. Each time an employee misses a break, that is extra time spent working that needs to be included when calculating overtime law.
It is not yet known which specific penalties and damages the plaintiffs are seeking in the current overtime class action lawsuit, but it is common for plaintiffs in these types of lawsuits to file for repayment of lost wages, plus all legal costs and fees, as well as punitive damages.
There are many causes that can lead an employer to fail to provide its workers with the proper overtime compensation. It could be as simple as a failure to maintain accurate records of all the time worked and wages earned by employees, or it could be more intentional, such as when employers misclassify workers as exempt from overtime, even if they don’t meet all the qualifications for the exemption as laid out by the FLSA.
The FLSA allows employers to classify workers as exempt from overtime if they work in an administrative, executive, or professional capacity. All the members of the proposed class in the current overtime lawsuit were classified as non-exempt employees for Seasons Hospice.
The Chicago and Oakbrook class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against hospitals, senior and assisted living centers and large doctor and dental practices and chains for 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 by filling in the form at the side of this blog.
The Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of Chicago unpaid 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 Waukegan and North Chicago. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, McHenry Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Cicero and Schaumburg 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.