Common Ways Employers Violate Overtime Laws in New York

Employment Law News | April 29, 2024

As an employee, you are part of a system that makes a profit for someone, and you deserve fair and legal compensation. New York has laws to protect its workers and their rights to overtime pay. Despite these laws, many employers still find it appropriate to violate the protections and underpay their employees who are eligible for overtime. If you suspect you are not compensated per labor laws, you may benefit from speaking with an experienced Syracuse employment law attorney. Below are some of the ways employers violate these laws

New York Overtime Pay Violations

For every way that employment law specifies requirements for regular and overtime pay, there are more ways that employers may violate those laws or try to work around them to avoid paying out that extra money. Sometimes, this is as simple as misclassifying an employee so that they appear exempt from overtime when they may be entitled to it. Employers may hide it other times behind illegal ‘perks’ or fraud. The Office of the New York State Attorney General states that any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay.

Improperly calculated hours

A common violation in employment law cases is when the employer fails to calculate the employee’s hours appropriately. For example, an employer may expect employees to begin opening or start-of-shift duties before clocking in for their scheduled time. This is a violation commonly seen in restaurants where servers may be expected to do closing work after clocking out or before going home.

Flex Time

Another way that employers may attempt to avoid those overtime payments is by offering flex or comp time. Suppose you worked 45 hours in one week. If you take flex time, you may only work 35 hours the next, leaving the pay period only reading 80 hours.

This ‘flex time’ may seem like great flexibility in your job, but if you work over 40 hours in a 7-day week and are not in an exempt position, you are entitled to overtime pay. Failing to do so is illegal. This is true even if you flex the time into another week.

Labeling Independent Contractors

Some employers misclassify employees as exempt positions rather than the nonexempt status they should have. In addition, they classify their employees as independent contractors. Independent contractors follow different standards than employees, and their job duties typically look very different from those of employees. Therefore, they aren’t interchangeable with employees and are entitled to overtime pay.

Reporting New York Overtime Law Violations

People are frequently unsure if labor laws or overtime laws have been violated. You may be unsure about approaching your employer about these concerns. If that is the case, there are resources through the Department of Labor to assist with reporting these violations. If you have reported these concerns or feel that your employer is not taking them seriously, it may be time to contact an employment law attorney to discuss your options. Maintaining financial stability in today’s world is hard enough, and you should be compensated appropriately for your work.