On September 9, 2016, Stephan Zouras, LLP filed a class and collective action on behalf of wireline workers who Verizon misclassified as “independent contractors” to avoid paying overtime.
Verizon recruited these workers after its wireline workforce in 10 states on the East coast, from Virginia to Massachusetts, went on strike from April 13, 2016 to June 1, 2016.
Despite regularly working 65 hours or more per week, these wireline workers were classified as exempt and denied overtime wages.
Plaintiffs allege that Verizon and other subcontractors violated the The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state law by paying these workers at their regular rate for all hours worked instead of the required overtime rate (1 1/2 (x) their regular rate) for hours worked in excess of 40 in any given workweek.
All too often, employers take advantage of their employees by not properly compensating them for overtime worked in violation of federal and state law. The FLSA requires employers to pay employees 1 ½ times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 each workweek unless they are properly classified as “exempt.”
The law requires the employer to establish very strict and specific requirements before properly classifying an employee as an exempt professional, executive, administrator or other recognized category of exemption. Most states have comparable laws of their own.
The FLSA also requires employers to keep accurate time records of all employees. Some employers try to skirt the law by paying only for “scheduled” time worked or paying based on an estimated or otherwise inaccurate time.
An employer’s failure to make and maintain accurate time records and paying for all time worked can have serious consequences. In such cases, employees are eligible to seek damages in addition to all unpaid wages including double (or “liquidated”) damages, back interest, attorney’s fees and costs.
If you would like more information about your rights, contact us.