FLSA Wage and Hour Law
Serving Clients in Missouri and Nationwide
Disputes over overtime wages may be based on a variety of different circumstances, from an alleged failure by an employer to pay overtime, to questions over proper calculation of overtime wages, to compliance with federal overtime regulations. These disputes often include claims by employees of having to work "off the clock," sometimes without the knowledge of the employer. In these disputes, a key issue often centers around whether the employer maintained sufficient documentation of time and hours worked by employees each workweek.
Dolley Law, LLC handles all types wage and hour disputes under the FLSA. Our lawyer possesses decades of knowledge in this area of law and is dedicated to helping clients throughout the U.S. Call (314) 293-4884 to schedule a consultation.
Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") is a federal law which establishes requirements for minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, pay, and other standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local government. Many states, including Missouri, have analogous state laws that either incorporate the same requirements or impose additional ones.
The FAQ below provides some additional basic information on the FLSA. If you have any questions regarding possible representation in FLSA litigation, please contact our firm.
Who is covered under the FLSA?
Employees can be covered under the FLSA in two ways:
- Enterprise Coverage: The FLSA covers those employees who work for companies or organizations having two or more employees and doing at least $500,000 a year in business, or hospitals, businesses providing medical or nursing care for residents, schools and preschools, and government agencies.
- Individual Coverage: The FLSA covers employees if their work involves interstate commerce. Interstate commerce means trade, commerce, transportation, transmission, or communication between states. Examples of this can include, but are not limited to: regularly making telephone calls to persons located in other states, traveling to other states for their jobs, producing goods to be shipped out of state, or working in buildings where goods are produced for shipment out of state.
- Domestic service employees are also normally covered under the FLSA.
What constitutes overtime under the FLSA?
Overtime is any time worked over 40 hours in a workweek by a non-exempt employee. Any time worked over 40 hours must be compensated at a rate not less one-and-one-half times the regular rate of pay. The FLSA does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless time worked goes over 40 hours in the work week.
What employees are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the FLSA?
Section 213 of the FLSA and its accompanying regulations (see, e.g.,29 C.F.R. Part 541) generally describe several different categories of workers that are exempt from the FLSA's minimum wage and overtime requirements.
These categories include, or have been interpreted to include, any employee:
- Employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity who is compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in FLSA regulations);
- Employed in outside sales on a regular basis away from the employer's place of business;
Employed by an amusement or recreational establishment, organized camp,
or religious, or non-profit educational conference center if:
- It does not operate for more than 7 months in any calendar year; or
- During the preceding calendar year, its average receipts for any 6 months of such year were not more than thirty-three and one-third (33 1/3) per centum of its average receipts for the other 6 months of such year;
- Employed in the catching, taking, propagating, harvesting, cultivating, or farming of any kind of fish, shellfish, crustaceans, sponges, seaweeds, or other aquatic forms of animal and vegetable life, or in the first processing, canning or packing such marine products at sea as an incident to, or in conjunction with, such fishing operations, including the going to and returning from work and loading and unloading when performed by any such employee;
Employed in agriculture
- If such employee is employed by an employer who did not, during any calendar quarter during the preceding calendar year, use more than five hundred man-days of agricultural labor,
- If such employee is the parent, spouse, child, or other member of his employer's immediate family,
- If such employee (i) is employed as a hand harvest laborer and is paid on a piece rate basis in an operation which has been, and is customarily and generally recognized as having been, paid on a piece rate basis in the region of employment, (ii) commutes daily from his permanent residence to the farm on which he is so employed, and (iii) has been employed in agriculture less than thirteen weeks during the preceding calendar year,
- If such employee (other than an employee described above) (i) is 16 years of age or under and is employed as a hand harvest laborer, is paid on a piece rate basis in an operation which has been, and is customarily and generally recognized as having been, paid on a piece rate basis in the region of employment, (ii) is employed on the same farm as his parent or person standing in the place of his parent, and (iii) is paid at the same piece rate as employees over age sixteen are paid on the same farm, or
- If such employee is principally engaged in the range production of livestock;
- Employed in connection with the publication of any weekly, semi-weekly, or daily newspaper with a circulation of less than four thousand the major part of which circulation is within the county where published or counties contiguous thereto;
- Who is a switchboard operator employed by an independently owned public telephone company which has not more than seven hundred and fifty stations;
- Employed as a seaman on a vessel other than an American vessel;
- Employed on a casual basis in domestic service employment to provide babysitting services or any employee employed in domestic service employment to provide companionship services for individuals who (because of age or infirmity) are unable to care for themselves;
- Who is a criminal investigator who is paid availability pay;
Who is a
computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other
similarly skilled worker, whose primary duty is:
- The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications;
- The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;
- The design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
- A combination of duties described above, the performance of which requires the same level of skills; and
- Who, in the case of an employee who is compensated on an hourly basis, is compensated at a rate of not less than $27.63 an hour.
For more information on exemptions, visit our Exemption page.
Misclassification as Exempt from Overtime Pay
The modern day "gig economy" has raised many questions about the traditional distinction between employees and independent contractors. In wage and hour disputes, this distinction is key. Many overtime lawsuits under the FLSA are based on a claim by an employee or group of employees that their employer misclassified them as "independent contractors" to avoid paying overtime wages (and also, perhaps, to avoid paying employer payroll taxes). These lawsuits involve fact-intensive questions regarding the nature of the relationship between the parties, including the extent to which the company exercises control over the worker and his or her work.
Proof of misclassification may come in different forms, from corporate restructuring and use of former employees as "subcontractors," to a shift by an employer to pay individuals with Form 1099's instead of Form W-2's. The law does not concern what companies name or call their employees; the misclassification question hinges upon many factors related to the economic realities between the parties. Our Firm has successfully litigated such issues in misclassification cases.
Exemptions from Overtime Pay
Many claims of unpaid overtime will rise or fall based upon whether "exemptions" apply. However, being a salaried employee does not mean an employee is automatically exempt from overtime or properly classified as exempt.
Like misclassification cases, questions regarding exemptions often involve fact-intensive inquiries about an individual's job and day-to-day responsibilities, not just their job title or how they are paid (e.g., hourly, salaried, piece-rate, etc.). Many employees and employers simply do not know about these exemptions or the details of them, resulting in needless uncertainty about potential rights, damages, and/or liabilities. Ensuring that exemptions are properly determined and applied protects employee wages and protects business from unanticipated payroll and other liabilities.
Dolley Law, LLC has the knowledge and experience that is necessary to properly advise and deal with questions regarding FLSA exemptions.
Compensable Time Before, During, and After the Workday
Overtime cases often involve claims of unpaid work at some point during the workday, whether during a break or at the beginning or end of the day. Generally, time spent at work for the benefit of the employer and its business is considered compensable work time. Even the time preparing for work at the workplace and the time spent leaving the workplace are commonly considered compensable work time. For example, the failure to pay employees for the time it takes to put on or take off uniforms or protective equipment at the beginning or end of a work shift may lead to violation(s) of the FLSA. But this is not always the case; sometimes pre- and post-shift tasks are not compensable because the nature of such activities and their relationship to the employee's essential job duties in determining whether such time is compensable under the FLSA. By way of another example, a requirement or expectation by the employer that employees get to work early before their shifts or stay late to complete work after their shifts, without additional pay for that time, may lead to violation(s) of the FLSA. Compensable work time may extend to work performed during breaks or remotely at home, if the employer has knowledge of the work performed.
Dolley Law, LLC has extensive knowledge and experience with issues related to the compensability of time spent at work, including pre- and post-shift work. We are familiar with decades of law and legal principles regarding the compensability of work time. This is especially important now considering the ever-shifting nature and location of the workplace given the widespread use of technology in the modern economy. We work closely with clients to help them understand the rights and obligations applicable to the workplace across many different industries.
Contact Dolley Law, LLC
Please feel free to contact our firm to discuss an overtime issue or dispute. All consultations are confidential and held in the strictest confidence.