Employees Trust Us To Help With Their Wage And Hour Claims
Wage theft is a significant issue in the United States. Wage theft occurs in many forms, including when an employer does not pay an employee for all hours worked, or fails to pay at least the minimum wage. Employers also commit wage theft when they refuse to give employees their final paychecks, and by avoiding overtime laws through employee misclassification.
Unpaid wages remain a problem in almost all industries.
We Hold Employers Accountable For Unpaid Wages
Fortunately, you have rights under federal and state law to get the money you earned but were not paid. If you have an unpaid wage claim or unpaid overtime claim, the experienced attorneys at Katz Melinger PLLC are ready to help you.
We have built a reputation as skilled and effective litigators and negotiators in employment law matters, and have obtained notable successes in holding employers accountable for unpaid wages. You can reach us to schedule your initial consultation by calling 212-460-0047. We are in New York City and represent clients in all boroughs, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County and its surrounding areas, as well as northern New Jersey.
Many Of Our Clients Do Not Know Their Rights Until They Speak With Us
In a competitive job market, many employers attempt to skirt wage obligations under state and federal law, knowing that employees have little choice but to accept a lower salary or increased work hours. We protect workers from wage and hour violations in a variety of industries and income brackets in matters such as:
- Failing to pay overtime. If you were not properly paid for overtime work in the past six years, we can help you recover the wages you are owed.
- Working off the clock or working from home. If you are answering emails, preparing meeting agendas, or otherwise doing work-related activities that benefit your employer, you are working and deserve to be paid for that time, even if you are at home.
- Stealing tips, not paying wages, etc. Some wage theft is overt. Stealing tips, refusing to give a worker his or her last paycheck, or withholding promised benefits is stealing. You can obtain compensation if your previous or current employer has committed theft against you.
- Automatic deduction of pay for longer than your meal and rest breaks. Your employer may improperly automatically deduct one hour from your paycheck even if you do not take a full hour break.
Because we are experienced in claims for wage and hour violations, we know the questions to ask of you and your employer. We can help you document your hours worked.
We will thoroughly investigate your case and provide you with a clear, honest assessment. In addition, we will help you understand the full amount you are owed. For some violations, you may be owed more compensation than for just the number of hours you worked.
Many wage and hour violations take the form of worker misclassification under the New York Labor Law and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
At Katz Melinger PLLC, we can help you understand whether you are legitimately exempt from the overtime requirements spelled out in the FLSA or are nonexempt and entitled to the benefits associated with that classification. For a complete analysis of whether you are owed overtime as an employee, contact our office at 212-460-0047.
What Is The Difference Between Exempt And Nonexempt Employees?
Employees are classified as either exempt (not eligible for overtime pay) or nonexempt (eligible for overtime pay).
Whether an employee is considered exempt or nonexempt depends on the nature of the work being performed and other factors. Nonexempt employees are frequently misclassified as exempt, meaning that their employers are not paying them overtime compensation even though the employees are entitled to such pay.
We Represent Salaried Employees In Overtime Claims
Many salaried employees assume that they are not entitled to overtime simply because they are paid on a salary basis. This is one of the largest misconceptions in wage and hour law. In reality, unless your job falls under one or more specific exemptions, such as executives, administrators, professional employees, and outside salespeople, you are entitled to overtime regardless of whether you are paid by the hour or receive a weekly or annual salary.
What Laws Govern Overtime Pay In New York City?
Both state and federal laws address overtime pay in New York. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law and the New York Labor Law (NYLL) is a state law. Each provides that most nonexempt employees must receive time-and-a-half pay for every hour worked over 40 in a week. Under the FLSA and NYLL, certain occupations are exempt and not entitled to overtime pay. Whether an employee is entitled to overtime under the FLSA or NYLL is often a fact-specific question that requires a detailed analysis of the employee’s job duties.
Are Employees Who Work Through Breaks Entitled To Overtime?
Nonexempt employees are entitled to time-and-a-half pay for all hours worked over 40 per week. Employees can voluntarily waive their right to a meal break, but they must be paid for that time, including overtime pay if the total number of hours worked by the employee that week is more than 40. Work hours may include time spent “on call.” Employees who are working at their desks while eating, on call during break, or driving from one work site to another while eating are considered working.
Are Workers Entitled To Previous Overtime Worked?
Yes, a wage and hour lawsuit can seek back pay for up to 6 years as a remedy for wage theft. If an employer has failed to pay overtime for several employees, those employees may be able to join a class-action lawsuit that seeks to recover back wages for all employees who have been underpaid by that employer.
Administrative And Management Positions
Employers may attempt to avoid paying overtime by having managers and assistant managers work long hours for salaried wages. Such positions may or may not be exempt. Whether managers and assistant managers are exempt from overtime or nonexempt and entitled to overtime depends on the amount of the salary and the job duties associated with the position. If you believe you might be entitled to overtime as a salaried employee, we can help you determine the proper course of action and whether you are entitled to overtime pay.
What Is The Minimum Wage In New York?
The current minimum wage in New York varies depending on the size and location of the employer.
On December 31, 2018, the minimum wage for New York City employees of large employers (11 or more employees) became $15.00 per hour, and the minimum wage for employees of small employers (10 or less) became $15.00 on December 31, 2019. Those minimums have remained the same
On December 31, 2020, the minimum wage for employees of employers in Long Island and Westchester became $14.00 per hour, and $12.50 per hour for employees of employers located in the remainder of New York state.
Each year on December 31, the minimum wage outside New York City is set to increase until it reaches $15.00 per hour for all employees across the state.
Find out more about New York’s minimum wage.
What Is The Federal Minimum Wage?
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. This rate has not changed since July 2009.
Employers are required to pay employees the highest applicable minimum wage, so the most relevant minimum wage rate for employees in New York is generally the state rather than the federal rate.
Are Employers Required To Provide Meal And Rest Breaks?
Under federal law, employers are not required to provide meal and rest breaks to employees.
However, under New York state law, employees are eligible for meal and rest breaks. The length and number of breaks vary depending on the type of work being performed, the length of the shift, and other factors.
How Common Is Wage Theft?
Failure to pay workers minimum wage and overtime is common, and the focus of increasing concern by the U.S. Department of Labor. Wage theft occurs both intentionally and unintentionally. It is estimated that nearly $50 billion is stolen from workers every year.
Speak To Our Experienced Lawyers. We Know The Right Questions To Ask.
Unpaid wages harm employees and the economic welfare of workers in a variety of industries. If you have not been paid all you are entitled to under the law, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Katz Melinger PLLC to schedule an initial consultation. We will help you understand your rights and protect your interests. You can reach us at 212-460-0047 or online.