There are a variety of ways employers can pay their workers. Hourly wages and salaries are the most common, but employers can also pay their workers daily rates or on a per project basis. But no matter how they choose to compensate their workers, employers are still required to pay their workers no less than the relevant minimum hourly wage. In order to make sure they’re abiding by all relevant labor laws, including minimum wage and overtime, employers must maintain accurate records of all the time worked by their employees, wages earned, and wages paid.
According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit in California, Elderly LLC, an elderly and assisted living facility in Union City, paid its employees a flat daily rate, but allegedly required them to work so many hours that the wages they were paid, divided by the number of hours they spent working, amounted to less than the legally mandated minimum wage. The wage and hour lawsuit further alleges employees were regularly made to work more than forty hours a week, but that they were never paid the proper overtime compensation for that extra time.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets a national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, but the California minimum wage is currently $9 per hour. Cities also have their own minimum wage laws, and the highest minimum wage takes precedence over the others. Employers conducting business in the U.S. need to be sure they’re abiding by all relevant labor laws: federal, state, and city.
The class action wage and hour lawsuit further alleges Elderly failed to keep track of all the hours employees worked. In some courts, especially in California courts, failure to keep proper records of all time worked and wages earned by and paid to employees can lead to significant fines. It looks suspicious because an employer who is not keeping proper records of all their workers’ hours might be deliberately failing to keep those records as a way to avoid properly paying their employees for all their time spent working.
Another method employers sometimes use to avoid paying employees wages is to classify them as exempt from overtime, even if they don’t qualify for the exemption. The FLSA does allow for some employees to work without the proper overtime compensation of one and one half times their normal hourly rate, but it is very specific about the types of employees that can be classified as exempt. These employees must work in either an administrative, executive, or professional capacity.
In order to qualify for the administrative exemption, an employee must perform primarily office work and provide administrative assistance directly to an executive. For the executive category, an employee must spend more than half her time at work managing other employees, be able to discipline those employees, and have direct say in the hiring and firing of those employees. The professional category consists of all workers who require a particular set of skills or level of education to perform their job, such as artists and performers. If the members of the proposed class of wage and hour lawsuit did not meet any of the requirements, they should have been paid the proper overtime rate.
The proposed class of plaintiffs includes 22 employees who worked at Elderly any time beginning on October 21, 2012.
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 Bloomingdale and Wayne. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, McHenry Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Carpentersville and West Dundee 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.