Overtime Claims

The lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. are experienced in litigating and resolving unpaid overtime claims, wage claims, nonpayment of earned bonuses or other benefits, and other wage and hour disputes in both state courts and federal courts. Administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, establishes nationwide minimum wage requirements, overtime pay obligations, record-keeping requirements, and youth employment standards. Private and public employers must meet the FLSA’s wage and hour requirements for compensation unless the workers fall into certain statutorily exempt classifications.

The Fair Labor Standards Act exempts certain employees from overtime and minimum wage requirements as follows:

  • Executive employees, who are employees who manage and have the ability to hire and fire;
  • Administrative employees, who must exercise discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance;
  • Professional employees, which includes: (a) Learned Professionals. These are employees who have jobs requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. (b) Creative Professional. These employees do work that requires invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.
  • Outside sales employees, such as those who make sales, obtain orders or contracts for services of the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer, and who are customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place of business;
  • Certain skilled computer professionals, including systems analysts, programmers, and software designers;
  • Employees of certain seasonal amusement or recreational establishments;
  • Seamen employed on foreign vessels and employees working on fishing operations;
  • Employees of certain small newspapers and switchboard operators of small telephone companies;
  • Employees engaged in newspaper delivery;
  • Farm workers at “small farms”;
  • Casual babysitters and companions to the elderly or infirm

And some employees are exempt from overtime requirements only (but not minimum wage requirements):

  • Some commissioned employees of retail or service establishments;
  • Salespersons employed by non-manufacturing establishments engaged primarily in selling farm implement, auto, truck, trailer, aircraft, or boat items to ultimate purchasers;
  • Certain employees in the transportation industry;
  • Certain employees of non-metropolitan broadcasting stations;
  • Domestic service workers who reside in the residences of their employers;
  • Motion picture theater employees;
  • Farmworkers

An experienced overtime lawyer in Virginia will know that violations of wage and hour laws typically occur under the following situations:

  1. When employers misclassify employees as exempt in order to avoid the FLSA’s requirements regarding overtime pay and other wage and hour requirements. More specifically, if a worker is exempt from wage and hour laws, an employer can pay that worker a salary and avoid many of the technical requirements of the FLSA. This may occur when employees are improperly given salaries but not given rest periods, meal breaks, or paid overtime, but those workers do not manage two or more persons, they do not spend less than 50 percent of their time performing managerial tasks, they do not routinely exercise independent judgment and discretion, and they do not meet another exemption;
  2. When an employer fails to pay employees the federally mandated minimum wage. As of July 24, 2009, the federally mandated minimum wage is $7.25 per hour;
  3. An employer’s failure or refusal to pay overtime at time and a half, or 150% of an employee’s normal hourly rate for time spent in excess of 40 hours per week, which often occurs when employers fail to provide pay for training time or time spent after work hours;
  4. Paying employees “under the table” or “off the clock” to reduce or eliminate wage claims;
  5. Not paying tips and gratuities – while the FLSA permits employers to count certain amounts of tips to meet minimum wage requirements, employers are required to notify employees of the tip arrangements and employers are responsible for meeting the gap between the combined tip and the federal minimum wage;
  6. Violations or deprivations of meal and rest break periods, or failure to provide adequate break time for nursing mothers;
  7. Violations of child labor laws or impermissible use of interns as unpaid workers;
  8. Miscalculations of overtime and bonuses or unlawful deductions from an employee’s pay, whether inadvertent or intentional;
  9. Failure to reimburse work-related expenses and expenditures.

Depending on the circumstances under which the wage and hour violations occurred, a worker whose FLSA rights have been violated may be entitled to extensive relief, including monetary relief. The primary and most common form of relief for wage violations is an award of back pay, whereby an employee receives the withheld unpaid wages or money. For those situations where the wages were willful and intentionally withheld from the employee, the employee may be entitled to an award of double the amount withheld by the employee. A prevailing employee on a wage and hour claim may also be entitled to receive attorney’s fees. Lawsuits for unpaid wage claims may proceed on an individual basis, a collective action, or a class action.

Contact Us for Help With Your Overtime Dispute

For more information about the services MartinWren, P.C.’s wage and hour attorneys can offer, please call (434) 817-3100 to speak with Attorney Robert E. Byrne or Attorney John B. Simpson.
If you prefer, you may email either attorney:
Email Robert E. Byrne : byrne@martinwrenlaw.com
Email John B. Simpson : simpson@martinwrenlaw.com.

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We serve clients throughout Virginia — from Charlottesville and Central Virginia to metropolitan Richmond; Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley to Roanoke; and the cities of Hampton Roads to the Northern Virginia cities of  Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington.

To speak with one of our attorneys, please call us at (434) 817-3100.

Our Virginia personal injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. also have a statewide practice and offer free consultations at a time and location that is convenient for you.  We will gladly meet with you at your home or at the hospital, even on nights and weekends.


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