Every year employers in the United States underpay their employees billions of dollars. Nearly every American worker is eligible to be paid (1) minimum wages, which are currently $7.25 per hour, and (2) overtime wages of one-and-one-half times their regular hourly rate.
Many employees are considered tipped employees and are paid less than minimum wage (often as low as $2.13 per hour). However, the tips received by a tipped employee plus the hourly rate paid by the employer must be equal to or greater than $7.25 per hour. Only certain employees can be considered tipped employees. Additionally, employers must pay tipped employees overtime as required by law. This overtime calculation is often different than it is for other hourly employees, and employers often make mistakes and pay a lesser amount than required by law. Our Texas employment lawyers can determine whether you are paid the correct overtime rate. Contact a Texas overtime lawyers today.
Only certain high-level managers, administrators, and professionals may be paid a salary in lieu of overtime. The exceptions are few and far between. When an employer mistakenly pays a worker by salary or commission, but should have been paying hourly wages with overtime, it is called “misclassification.” Employers commonly make mistakes and misclassify employees. An employee who is misclassified may be owed hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars in underpaid wages.
Many employees mistakenly believe that they do not have an overtime claim because the employer pays them a salary. This is completely wrong. The law, not the employer, dictates who can be paid a salary and who must be paid hourly. An employer who only pays a salary and that should have been paying hourly with overtime is violating the law if the employee works over forty hours in a workweek.
We Represent Employees Who Should Be Paid Overtime
If you believe your employer owes you wages, please contact us. If you are working more than forty hours per week and not paid an overtime premium for your work, we would like to speak with you. This is true even if you were paid salary, commission, or some other rate.
The following jobs are prone to misclassification:
- Inside salespeople. If you sit at your desk and make sales, you are entitled to an overtime premium when you work over forty hours in a workweek. This is true even if you are paid on commission.
- Call center employees.
- Local drivers, limo drivers, and intrastate drivers, particularly if your vehicle is the size of an Econoline van or smaller.
- Leasing agents, leasing consultants, leasing specialists.
- New home salespeople who sit in a model home all day.
- Real estate appraisers.
- Clerical workers.
- Administrative assistants.
- Assistant managers.
- Manual laborers, blue-collar workers, and anyone whose job is physical in nature.
- Computer and IT employees.
- Special investigators.
- Recruitment consultants.
- And anyone else who works more than forty hours in a week and is not paid overtime
Employers Frequently Make Mistakes When Calculating Overtime
Overtime is paid at one-and-one-half times a worker’s regular hourly rate. For instance, if a worker is paid $10 per hour, he or she must be paid $15 per hour after the first forty hours. Except in unusual circumstances, an employee may not be given comp time instead of overtime.
If you worked over forty hours and your employer paid you the same hourly rate for all hours worked, please contact us immediately.
Why Are Waiters Paid $2.13 An Hour When The Minimum Wage is $7.25?
Restaurants and other employers of tipped workers can pay an employee $2.13 an hour, but only if the $2.13 per hour plus the employee’s tips is equal to or greater than $7.25 per hour. If the $2.13 per hour plus the employee’s tips is less than $7.25, the employer must make up the difference out of the employer’s own pocket. Also, mandatory service charges are not tips and do not count as tips for purposes of compensation.
This difference between the minimum wage rate ($7.25 per hour) and $2.13 per hour is $5.12 per hour. This $5.12 per hour difference is called a “tip credit.” This method of paying employees is an exception to the rule and it is a privilege – not a right. An employer who fails to meet all the regulations loses the privilege of taking the tip credit. The employer must then go back and pay tipped employees two times the tip credit (currently $10.24) for each hour worked in the past two or three years. Additionally, there are restrictions as to what jobs can be paid as tipped employees. Employers may easily owe tipped employees thousands of dollars.
There are many ways that a tip pool could be invalid. An employer might fail to adequately inform workers of how the tip pool works, might include employees in the tip pool (like managers, dishwashers, cooks) who cannot be included in a tip pool, might make improper deductions from a worker’s pay (like glass breakage, shortages), or might include involuntary tips in the pool (only voluntary tips left by customers are considered tips, a mandatory tip does not count as a tip under the tip pool law).
If you are a tipped employee and believe your employer improperly paid you, please contact us.
Contact Our Texas Employment Lawyers
Our Texas overtime lawyers have a lot of experience with overtime claims. Our firm has filed dozens of class actions on behalf of employees seeking unpaid wages, including overtime. We aggressively pursue unpaid overtime and minimum wage claims. Please contact us if you even suspect that you are owed unpaid wages.