HOUSTON, Texas. It has recently come to light that oil companies, farmers, and other organizations have failed to properly pay overtime to their employees. One of the most common way that they get away with this is by misclassifying their workers.
Most recently, a Vidalia onion farmer was required to pay $1.4 million in unpaid overtime, according to the Telegraph Herald. 460 workers were not paid overtime wages for their seasonal work. In industries where the work can increase during an on-season or a boom, employers have been caught for failing to pay workers the overtime they may be entitled to receive. Under the law, farmers are not legally required to pay overtime when workers harvest, grow, and pack the farm’s own crops. However, the farmers were found to be requiring workers to pack produce grown on other farms, a violation of the overtime exception.
In another case, SFGATE reported that AT&T misclassified employees as managers to avoid paying them time and a half for overtime. The workers were teachers and trainers, but were misclassified as managers. Rest and meal breaks were denied to the employees, according to the report.
So, before you work overtime, what should you know so that you are not denied time and a half overtime pay? It is important to understand how your job classification can impact your ability to receive overtime and certain benefits. Employers may categorize certain workers as contractors, managers, or try to place workers into categories that are exempt from overtime pay. However, not all workers classified as contractors and managers meet the requirements for this classification. If your employer is classifying you in a category that denies you overtime pay or benefits, do your research. Learn about the requirements for this classification. If this classification seems wrong, you may want to speak to your employer. If you cannot resolve your issue with a conversation, you may want to speak to the unpaid overtime lawyers at Moore & Associates in Houston, Texas. Our firm may be able to help you get back pay for the overtime you have already done and ensure that you and fellow employees are properly categorized in the future.
For example, if you are classified as a manager, but don’t actually oversee other workers or make decisions about what workers will be doing, your classification may be incorrect. If you are classified as an independent contractor, but can’t actually subcontract work, don’t have freedom to set your own hours, and don’t really have the freedom to choose what work you take on, you may be misclassified by your employer.
Understanding employment categories and legal requirements can be challenging. There are certainly gray areas. If you feel that you are entitled to overtime pay, but feel that your employer is misclassifying your job category to avoid paying you overtime, you may want to seek legal advice from a qualified unpaid overtime lawyer. Visit Moore & Associates at https://www.mooreandassociates.net/ today to learn more.