As an employee, you are guaranteed certain rights under West Virginia law and federal laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This Act, which was passed into law in 1938, introduced a maximum workweek of 44-hours and seven days, established a national minimum wage, and guaranteed “time-and-a-half” for overtime in certain jobs. The FLSA has played a huge role in protecting employee rights over the years because it creates certain obligations that employers must abide by.
To ensure that employees are appropriately compensated for the work hours they put in, the FLSA allows workers to file for unpaid overtime for hours worked that exceed the 40-hour workweek that is common in most hourly positions. Many employers have more incentive to abuse this regulation rather than to follow it, and this is not fair to employees. In West Virginia, the overtime minimum wage is $10.88 per hour, which is one and a half times the regular minimum wage of $7.25. If you earn more than this minimum wage, you are entitled to at least 150% of your regular hourly wage for all overtime hours that you work.
If your employer has failed to pay you the proper overtime wages that you deserve for your overtime work, you may be eligible to receive back wages and possibly additional compensation with the help of a skilled West Virginia injury attorney.
It is an unfortunate fact that many employers would prefer to work their employees at maximum hours and minimum rates in order to keep their profit margin high. One of the main reasons why workers to do not speak up about their overtime wages is out of fear that they will face retaliation from their employer. According to the regulations established by the FLSA, employers in West Virginia are specifically prohibited from penalizing workers who file an overtime complaint with threats, suspension or firing.
When you have been overworked and underpaid by your employer, our team of West Virginia lawyers can help you seek the compensation that you deserve. One of the first steps that we will take in your case is to make sure that your job is not exempt from overtime. Unlike other states that have daily overtime limits to ensure that employees who work more than a certain number of hours in a day will be paid overtime, West Virginia does not have a daily overtime limit. Additionally, there are a number of exceptions to the regulations established by the FLSA in West Virginia because of the nature of work environments and the working hours that are required for certain careers.
In fact, it is estimated that nearly 50 million workers out of the total estimated 120 million workers in America are exempt from overtime law. Administrators, executives, and other professionals who earn at least $455 per week do not have to be paid overtime under Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA, and external salespeople are also exempt from WV’s overtime requirements. Certain types of computer-related workers, independent contractors, and some transportation workers and certain agricultural workers are also exempt from overtime requirements. In order to come to these conclusions, the FLSA provides a series of tests that examine an employee’s pay rate, working conditions, skill level and other factors to determine if they are eligible for overtime pay.
The four main categories of work that are exempt from overtime law are executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales. If your job fits into one of these categories, you are probably not eligible for overtime wages in West Virginia. There are certain distinctions and requirements that can determine how job will be classified, and a lawyer at our firm can help you figure out if you are owed an overtime premium.
Some companies will go to great lengths to avoid paying their employees the overtime pay that they rightfully deserve. Companies will often resort to classifying employees as independent contractors or improperly categorizing them as an executive instead of an assistant manager in order to avoid paying them overtime. If you have been wrongfully treated in this way, you have the right to seek justice and the compensation that you deserve for the hours you have worked.
When you call Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC about your situation, we can help you file a claim before the time window to do so is over. There are time restrictions for these types of claims, known as the statute of limitations, and you only have two years to file a claim. Your claim will no longer be eligible for consideration if you choose to file the claim after this two-year period. You can file a claim even if you are no longer working for the company against which you wish to bring the claim.
Once you have determined that you are eligible, our team will help you with the next step of filing an unpaid overtime claim. We will submit an official complaint that contains all of the pertinent information to your local Department of Labor office. If this does not solve your case, we will file a civil claim with the West Virginia state court system by filing an unpaid overtime lawsuit against your employer. In some cases, this is the only way to recover the wages that you deserve for the time you have worked.
Most importantly, you should never be fooled into thinking that you have no options. Your rights are protected by state and federal law, and our firm knows how to uphold these laws to their fullest extent. When you choose to work with Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, you can rest assured knowing that we will stop at nothing to help you seek justice and full compensation. Contact our firm today to schedule your initial consultation!