Are You Entitled to Overtime Pay and Back Wages?

Overtime pay is required for most Tennessee jobs.   Unfortunately, many employers cheat their employees out of the pay to which they are legally entitled.  Even salaried employees may be due overtime pay if their titles do not match with certain, federally defined duties they perform. Frequent and recurring abuses add up as do the systematic methods corrupt employers use to rob entire Tennessee workforces. Working with a wage and hour attorney can help you recover your losses as well as cover legal costs.

Our Labor Lawyers repeatedly encounter common abuses of the Wage and Hour Laws.  For example, many Tennessee employers have been found to mislabel their wage workers and illegally eliminate overtime payment by categorizing their employees as salaried employees. Corrupt Tennessee corporations mislabel workers as salaried employees often in an attempt to avoid paying overtime. Salaried employees must meet two conditions to be exempt from overtime pay. They must (a) earn a certain minimum amount of salary for their work and they must (b) perform specific types of job duties like management, administrative or  professional.

Wage and hour law is the specific brand of law that the employment attorneys at The Higgins Firm practice. If you are a wage worker who regularly worked over 40 hours a week but received only regular pay for your overtime hours or if you worked over 40 hours a week and were wrongly paid salary when you should have been earning an hourly rate with overtime, contact The Higgins Firm.

Tennessee Overtime Pay

Tennessee overtime pay for wage employees begins with the first minute over 40 hours you work in a workweek. Overtime in Tennessee is calculated solely by the workweek and never by the day. Despite what an employer may tell you, overtime pay is not optional for overtime worked. Overtime is not a bonus, though your employer has no obligation under Tennessee law to offer the extra hours that earn the 1.5 times your usual wage.

The most common Tennessee overtime wage underpayment technique is for an employer to shift hours around between workweeks. If your employer frequently changed when your workweek began and ended or made a workweek shorter than 7 days to avoid paying you overtime, you likely have a good overtime wage and hour case and should speak with our overtime attorneys immediately. (Exceptions to the above are rare and include certain medical professions that use an "8 and 80 Overtime System.")

Also, your employer must be the one to keep records of the hours you worked and pay you accordingly. If you feel pressured to work extra hours, then employers are required to record these hours, pay you for them, and use these hours to calculate your breaks and overtime. Additionally, breaks under 30 minutes and required training must be paid and count toward hours worked during your Tennessee workweek.

Additionally, no person in Tennessee may be employed without knowing what their wages or final pay will be under the Tennessee Wage Regulation Act. This Tennessee law also prohibits your employer from deducting moneys as a penalty/fine from your wages, including fines for being late. No Tennessee employer may withhold a paycheck for any reason. While an employer does not have to pay a Tennessee employee for time he or she does not work, no employer in Tennessee may take money away from an employee for time worked.

Contact the Nashville overtime lawyers at The Higgins Firm by completing our Tennessee overtime/wage recovery form or by calling us at 800-705-2121.

When is Overtime owed for Salaried Employees?

Mislabeled salaried workers suing their employers for withheld overtime payment is not a new trend, but new federal statutes limit employer's ability to overwork salaried employees while underpaying them. New federal FairPay Wage and Hour rules qualify more salaried Tennesseans (and an estimated 6.7 million Americans) for overtime pay.

If you earn a salary of less than $23,660 per year (which is $455 a week), you qualify for the same overtime payments as wage laborers. (NOTE: Police and fire personnel and other "first responders" do not qualify for this "white collar overtime.")

The new wage and hour statutes also strengthen the duties test by ensuring that employees labeled as "outside sales," executive," or "administrative" perform functions that govern their work titles. Salaried employees must meet two conditions. They must (a) earn a certain minimum amount of salary for their work and they must (b) perform certain job functions. This prevents Tennessee employers from having an entire office of salaried managers who do little managing but because of their title can be paid less than their hourly wage counterparts.

A management employee must supervise at least two persons AND manage an enterprise or a department; an administrative employee must have direct influence in the business of his/her employer and discretionary powers in his/her duties to be exempt from the overtime payment. If you made less than $455 a week and your executive title did not reflect your influence over a company's operations or its employees' actions, then you most likely are due overtime payment for the hours over 40 that you have worked.

Take Action with a Nashville Wage & Hour Lawyer

Tennessee wage and hour law allows victims who work with a lawyer to recover both withheld overtime/unpaid wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. Tennesseans also have the option of suing for punitive damages for extreme pay mispayment or work conditions. In most cases, attorney's fees are also included in the settlement.

Tennessee employment law explicitly forbids a company from firing an employee who files a wage and hour lawsuit in good faith against an employer. The longer your employer has had corrupt pay practices in place, the greater your recoveries can be. However, you will have a much shorter time to recover your underpaid or unpaid wages. Contact the Nashville overtime lawyers at The Higgins Firm by completing our Tennessee overtime/wage recovery form or by calling us at 800-705-2121