Most employers in Tennessee desire to operate an honest business and treat their employees fairly. Sometimes errors can occur in employee documentation that could deny you valuable benefits; some employers may even willfully misclassify employees to retain more profits for the company. Overtime pay misclassification is a form of employee misclassification that can violate state and federal labor laws.
Understanding Your Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) is a federal law that governs pay, minimum wage levels, overtime compensation and recordkeeping standards for all qualified workers in private sectors, as well as federal, state and local governments.
According to the FLSA, “Covered nonexempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per workweek (any fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours – seven consecutive 24-hour periods) at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay.”
A problem can occur if you are misclassified as an exempt employee; this would disqualify you from receiving overtime pay for hours worked in Nashville over the standard 40 hours in a workweek. You could also be disqualified from enjoying unemployment compensation benefits, Workers’ Compensation coverage and protections guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Possible Employee Misclassification Categories
Certain categories of workers are exempt from the provisions of the FLSA and other labor-related laws. If you have been mistakenly or deliberately misclassified at your place of employment, this is a violation of important federal laws and should be corrected as soon as possible. An experienced Employment Law Attorney from The Crone Law Firm can help you determine your classification and recommend next steps if you have been misclassified and lost benefits in Jackson, TN.
Determining which employees qualify as exempt is complex and even controversial, as the rules can be interpreted differently. This is a common area of disagreement and litigation in employment law matters and with the Department of Labor. In fact, a new rule to help clear up misclassification issues was proposed for consideration in October 2022.
Although the categories below may seem to be differentiated by how they are paid (salary vs. hourly), this is not the defining factor when determining if an employee is exempt from overtime pay and other FLSA provisions.
Various means are used to determine exempt classifications, and these all can make a difference. The basic categories include:
- Certain administrative positions
- Certain executive positions
- Certain managerial positions
- Certain professional positions
- Independent contractors
- Outside salespersons
The FLSA includes narrow exemptions for specific types of employment and even within the categories above there can be exceptions. A Tennessee Employment Law Attorney can help you determine your particular classification.
How Can I Correct an Overtime Pay Misclassification?
If you believe your employer has misclassified you and denied you certain benefits, this should be reported. If the misclassification was a mistake, it may be corrected quickly without complications. However, your employer may object to reimbursing you for any lost benefits due to the misclassification. This is why you should follow a formal route to report and correct any overtime pay misclassification or other employee misclassification. A Tennessee Employment Law Attorney in Memphis can provide guidance and representation throughout this process.
Enforcement of FLSA violations is handled through the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Those wishing to report a violation should do so with the Nashville District office of the DOL Wage and Hour Division, or call 1-866-487-9243 or file your complaint online. The FLSA also allows for the DOL to file suit on behalf of employees over misclassification issues, as well as allowing private litigation.
Contact Us for Overtime Pay Misclassification Help
Contact The Crone Law Firm in Memphis if you have questions or believe an employee overtime play misclassification has violated your rights and denied you valuable benefits.