Wage Claims



You spend a lot of time at your job and work hard for your pay.  You deserve all of the pay to which you are legally entitled.  We will vigorously pursue your rights for fair pay for your work.  We will use our knowledge gained from being inside of several Fortune 500 companies to give you an advantage in pursuing your pay claim.  You benefit from our inside experience and we will use this experience to aggressively fight for your claim.


Unless you are specifically classified as an “exempt” worker, your employer must pay you overtime wages for any hours you work over 40 hours in a workweek. The employer must pay overtime wages at a rate of at least one and one-half times (150%) your regular hourly rate.

Your employer cannot change the overtime laws. Your employer cannot avoid paying overtime by enacting a no-overtime policy or by getting you to agree to a special deal.  Your employer must pay you according to the law.  Here are some common overtime violations.


Unpaid or Improperly Calculated Overtime Pay
Overtime rules are generally based on a single workweek. Non-exempt employees may be paid a number of ways:  weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.  But, your employer must calculate overtime on the actual 40-hour workweek; the pay period does not matter. Employers cannot average hours over two or more weeks.  Likewise, your employer cannot get you to agree not to follow the overtime rules.

Comp Time Instead of Overtime Pay
Compensatory time is paid time off generally granted to an hourly employee instead of overtime wages.  This is often referred to as “comp time.”  For example, an employer must offer comp time to be taken later rather than paying overtime wages.  Comp time can sometimes be legal, but the employer must pay it at 150%, the same rate as overtime wages.

Employees Not Allowed to Report Work over 40 Hours Per Week
Many employers have rules that no overtime work will be permitted or paid for unless authorized in advance.  Some employers choose to ignore when hourly employees work overtime or do not allow employees to report overtime hours. This violates the overtime rules.


In today’s tough economy, employers face increasing pressure to lower wage and benefit costs. Not surprisingly, some employers will resort to not following the rules regarding classifying which employees are entitled to overtime.

Has your employer not paid you overtime because you are an “exempt” employee? Or, has your employer not paid you overtime and benefits because you are a contract employee or independent contractor?   Your employer’s thinking is often wrong.  You then are losing out on the pay and benefits you deserve.

Misclassification of Employees as Exempt Workers
Exempt employees are by law employees not entitled to receive overtime pay.  Whether or not you are exempt can be confusing.  However, it has nothing to do with your job title or job description, or whether you are paid a salary or hourly. What you actually do at your job on a daily basis determine whether or not you are legally entitled to overtime.

Contract Employee Violations
Contract employees or independent contractors include self-employed workers who are not covered by the tax and wage laws that apply to regular employees. Employers do not pay Social Security, Medicare, or federal unemployment insurance taxes on contract employees or independent contractors.  Thus, employers are strongly motivated to classify workers into this category to save costs.

Whether you qualify as an employee or an independent contractor is not an easy matter.  Three factors are key in determining some common pay practices by employers which may violate the law:

  1. Control:  Does the company control what you do and how you perform your duties?
  2. Financial:  Do you or the company set the business aspects of your work (method of payment, reimbursement of expenses, etc.)?
  3. Relationship:  Do you have a written contract? Do you receive employee-type benefits, such as a pension plan, insurance, or vacation pay? How long have you been at the company?

You are probably an employee and not an independent contractor or contract employee if the company controls what you do and how you do it, and treats you like other regular employees.  You thus may be missing out on valuable overtime wages and employee benefits.


Some other common employer pay practices which may violate the law:

  • Paying you a salary and no overtime when you spend less than 50% of your time managing other employees;
  • Paying you a salary and no overtime with a title like assistant manager, assistant branch manager, or working lead;
  • Paying you hourly and not paying you overtime when you work in excess of 40 hours in any work week;
  • Paying you hourly and not paying you for pre-shift or post-shift work time such as uniform and clothes changing time, the time it takes you to prepare your workstation for the day, or clean up time at the end of your shift;
  • Paying you hourly, but asking you to perform work via cell telephone, email, Blackberry, Twitter, Facebook, etc. when you are not clocked in;
  • Paying you hourly, but asking you to work through your breaks and unpaid meal periods without payment;
  • Rounding you work time down to the nearest 15 minute increment (i.e., you clock in at 7:56 am and your employer rounds your time to 8:00 am); or
  • Hiring you as an “independent contractor,” “contract employee,” or “contingent worker” and not paying you overtime or benefits like regular employees.

You should contact us if you believe your employer has violated the law in paying you.


You work hard and spend a lot of time at your job.  Your employer responds by firing you or treating you differently because of a legally protected trait such as your race, gender, or age.  Or, your employer retaliates against you after you complain about being treated differently.  You likely had no warning your employer would mistreat you this way.  You are now worried about how you will support yourself and your family.  We are here to help you.

You have the right to work in a workplace which is free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  We will use our vast prior experience as lawyer employees inside of companies to vigorously pursue your employment claim.  We know the excuses that employers will present for unlawfully mistreating you.  And, we know where employers keep the information that is vital to proving your employment claim.

Here are employment claims that we regularly pursue for employees:

  • Workplace discrimination (age, race, gender, disability, etc);
  • Sexual harassment;
  • Retaliation;
  • Wrongful firing;
  • Violation of leave laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act;
  • Breach of employment contract; and
  • Cancellation of non-competition agreements.

Here are actions employers take against you which may violate the law:

  • Firing, demoting, or not giving you a raise because of your age, race, or gender;
  • Allowing a manager, fellow employee, or customer to make repeated sexual comments to you such that it changes how you work;
  • Firing or transferring you after you complain of being mistreated or about unlawful actions by your employer;
  • Not accommodating your medical condition so that you can perform your job

You should contact us if you believe your employer has unfairly treated you.