To speak to an experienced overtime lawyer, call 877-875-1991.
A common misconception is that “salaried” employees are not entitled to overtime compensation (time and a half) when the employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek. While it is true that many salaried employees are legally denied overtime pay because they fit into one of the so-called “white collar exemptions” (executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer professional), the fact that an employee is paid a salary is just one of several factors that must be present for the exempt to properly apply. Contrary to common belief, the general rule is that all employees—including those paid a salary—are owed overtime. The exemptions are considered narrow exceptions to the general rule and employers frequently shirk their overtime responsibilities by misclassifying employees as “exempt” when they should be paid overtime.
Certain Auditors and Accountants are misclassified under the FLSA.
Financial services are a complex and increasing part of our modern economy. Some financial service workers can properly be considered exempt under the FLSA. However, a large number cannot. For example, a CPA is a licensed professional who has a specialized education, therefore CPAs generally fit within the professional exemption. On the other hand, certain staff accountants, auditors, data entry workers, and other accounting clerks do not have discretion in the work that they perform (as would be required by the administrative exemption), nor does their work require the specialized education contemplated by the professional exemption. Therefore, even though these accountants and financial service workers have “white collar” jobs, they cannot be properly called an exempt employee and they must be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week (e.g., during tax season).
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law governing when overtime pay is required of US employers. The US Deptartment of Labor (DOL) is the administrative agency tasked with writing the regulations for the FLSA and helping to enforce the FLSA’s requirements and has issued regulations that define the white collar exemptions.
The determination of whether an exemption is proper should be made on a case-by-case basis. Each of the exemptions has its own set of tests and sometimes an employee may even be potentially impacted by more than one exemption. There are generally two issues to be analyzed in a misclassification case: (1) what job functions was the employee actually doing; and (2) how was the employee paid. The employee must fit squarely into a defined exemption, or that employee is entitled to overtime pay.
Job titles are irrelevant to the FLSA analysis. If you believe that you may be misclassfied under the FLSA, contact the wage and hour lawyers at Lear Werts LLP for a no-cost converation about whether you may be entitled to overtime.
The DOL has issued a number of Fact Sheets about these classification challenges. In particular, there is a Fact Sheet specifically for financial services workers and three others that more generally discuss the exemptions that may apply to accountants and auditors.
How Much Money Can Be Recovered?
In misclassification cases, recovery can vary greatly depending on how much the employee was paid and how many hours that the employee worked. Bonuses and other compensation can also impact how much money the employer should have been paying a misclassified worker when the worker worked more than 40 hours in a week.
Under the FLSA, an employee can recover unpaid overtime for either a two-year or three-year period (depending on whether the employer’s violation of the law was willful). The employee is also entitled to liquidated damages from the employer in an amount equal to the amount of overtime that was unpaid (unless the employer can show a good faith reason for the violation). Additionally, most states have their own laws that supplement the FLSA - some of which provide for more expansive recovery.
What if I Haven’t Tracked My Hours?
Salaried employees are often not required to track their hours. So a common question asked by salaried employees who are owed overtime is “How do I prove how many hours a week I worked?” The courts have recognized this conundrum and have ruled that, since it is the employer’s duty to track the amount of hours worked by its employees who are owed overtime, if the employer has improperly classified its employees—and therefore did not have them track their time—then the court will accept the employee’s reasonable estimate of the amount of overtime he/she worked. For this reason, the fact that a salaried employee does not have time logs or other evidence of her hours is not a hinderance to recovering her unpaid overtime.
Can my employer fire me for bringing an FLSA claim?
The FLSA has rules prohibiting an employer from firing or retaliating against an employee for bringing a claim under the FLSA. The FLSA attorneys at Lear Werts LLP recommend that you contact an attorney if you think that your employer has retaliated against you for asserting your rights to proper overtime compensation.
What Can Be Done?
Lear Werts LLP has represented salaried workers from across the country in their claims for wrongfully denied overtime pay. Every case is different, and there are no guarantees of how much can be recovered in an accountant overtime lawsuit or any other misclassification case under the FLSA. To find out if you have a case, contact Todd Werts or Brad Lear at 1-877-875-1991, or send them an email through this link, to arrange a free consultation and find out if your job is one that allows an employer to pay a salary without overtime, or whether you have a unpaid wages claim.
Most Popular Articles
Once you have completed the hearing process and have received an award, you have the right to file an application for review with the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling appeals to the Commission ...Click to Read More...
Business Consultants File Case Against International Services, Inc. (IPA) Claiming Unpaid Wages and Overtime Pay
Lear Werts LLP has filed a lawsuit against International Services, Inc. and its related entities which include International Profit Associates, IPA, ROI – North America, GPS USA, Integrated Business Analysis, and IBA USA. Plaintiffs are seeking unpaid wages and overtime resulting from the defendant's improper pay policies for its senior business consultants, which are also referred to as "SBCs".Click to Read More...
If you are or were employed by WIS as an IA anywhere in the United States, other than California, you may be eligible to participate in this lawsuit. To find out more, please fill out the contact form above and we will be in touch with you about submitting the paperwork to join the lawsuit.Click to Read More...
Lear Werts LLP and our co-counsel Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP filed a lawsuit on March 2, 2010 against DirecTV, Inc., DirecTV Home Services, Inc., and AeroSat USA, LLC seeking unpaid wages and overtime resulting from the defendants’ piece rate payment policies.Click to Read More...
Lear Werts LLP and our co-counsel Stueve Siegel Hanson, LLP have filed a class action lawsuit for unpaid wages and overtime on behalf of telephone-dedicated employees who worked in any of State Farm’s Operations Centers nationwide.Click to Read More...
Most Recent Injury Articles
The following frequently asked questions provide some basic information about workers' compensation claims. To learn more about your rights and responsibilities under Missouri law ...Click to Read More...
Generally speaking, and as discussed on the Benefits Overview page, there are several types of benefits available. This page should help you to calculate the benefits that are available under the workers compensation law.Click to Read More...
Lear Werts LLP represents injured workers throughout Missouri who have suffered foot or leg injuries, including fractures, knee tendonitis and bursitis, and loss of limb.Click to Read More...
Attorneys at Lear Werts LLP represent employees in Columbia and throughout Missouri who have suffered hand and arm injuries in the workplace, including fractures, nerve damage, loss of limb, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and repetitive strain injuries.Click to Read More...
Lear Werts LLP has extensive experience building successful workers' compensation claims on behalf of injured employees, including injuries involving the neck and back. Neck and back injuries are among the most common workplace injuries ...Click to Read More...
Most Recent Employment Articles
If you have been treated badly at your job (or at a potential job) because you are disabled, you may have been subjected to disability discrimination...Click to Read More...
In the garbage and sanitation industry it is common for employers to pay their drivers, helpers, and loaders based on an hourly wage but not pay them time-and-a-half for when they work more than 40 hours in a week. Additionally, many of these companies pay certain...Click to Read More...
As Reservists and National Guard return after leaving their home and jobs to protect our nation, they need to know that jobs will be available. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Right Act (USERRA) provides special protection for returning service members...Click to Read More...
Most Recent Litigation Articles
What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act? The Fair Credit Reporting Act (often referred to as the "FRCA") is a federal consumer protection law that regulates the production and distribution of consumer reports. Despite its name, the FCRA does not apply solely to credit reports.Click to Read More...
The Missouri vexatious refusal to pay statute is a consumer protection law that is designed to prohibit abusive insurance practices. The law applies to what are known as first-party insurance contracts. That is to say, the law only covers claims made against your own insurance.Click to Read More...
Other Recent Articles
- > Missouri Workers Compensation FAQ
- > Calculating Missouri Workers Compensation Benefits
- > Common Foot and Leg Injuries Covered by MO Work Comp
- > Common Hand and Arm Injuries Covered by MO Work Comp
- > Work Related Neck and Back Injuries Under Work Comp
- > Missouri Workers Compensation Injury Overview
- > Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission Work Comp Decisions
- > Final Hearing in a Missouri workers’ compensation claim
- > Missouri Workers Compensation Temporary Hearings
- > Missouri Workers Compensation Claim for Compensation