October 19, 2015

Employment News Unpaid Overtime Claims Wage Theft

“Day Rate” Employees and Overtime Violations

Wage and hour violations can cost workers thousands of dollars in rightful overtime pay every year. There are many ways employers seek to skirt state and federal wage laws to deprive their employees of overtime. Some cases involve misclassification, which can arise in specific industries, including the oil, gas, refinery, and maintenance industries. Other employers are in violation for improper calculation of overtime, paying employees with prepaid cards, or flat refusal to pay overtime.

Here we answer some frequently asked questions related to day rate employees and overtime violations:

Can “day rate” employees collect overtime?
Yes. Under federal law, employers must pay their employees for any overtime worked over 40 hours per week. While employers may pay their employees a flat rate or “day rate” for each day worked, regardless of how many hours they are actually putting in, all employers are required by law to pay day rate employees for hours worked over 40 in one week.

Is day rate overtime calculated differently than hourly overtime?
While day rate overtime can be more difficult to calculate, there are still formulas to help employers and employees determine overtime rates. For employers, paying employees by day rate schemes can be an advantage. An hourly employee’s overtime rate will not change based on number of hours worked, whereas a day rate employee’s overtime compensation will go down the more hours per week they work.

Is my employer in overtime violation?
Some employers will simply refuse to pay day rate employees overtime, a violation that occurs in large corporations, small businesses, and individual employers. A number of utility and service companies have been sued for failure to pay overtime to day rate workers. Your employer is in violation of overtime laws for any deprivation of overtime pay.

Have I been misclassified as a day rate employee?
To qualify as a daily rate employee, workers must receive a standard sum for every day worked. Day rates cannot be subject to change based on number of hours worked. If your day wage is subject to change depending on the number of hours worked, you may have been misclassified as a daily rate employee.

Employees who have been misclassified or who have suffered from an overtime violation should contact an experienced Minnesota employment law attorney. Wanta Thome PLC is a leading wage and hour firm focused on protecting employee rights. Please call 612-252-3570 to speak with our lawyers about daily rate employees, payroll debit cards, and overtime violations.