If you have been unfairly denied or cheated out of pay that your employer owes you, you are entitled to take action to recover it. Employers have a legal responsibility to pay their workers at least the minimum wage, and to pay for all hours worked — including overtime when it is due. When they fail to do this, even accidentally, they should be held accountable so that employees receive the money they have earned.
The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. is committed to defending workers’ rights. In all of our areas of practice, we advocate fiercely for employees in any industry in New Jersey and Philadelphia. Our overtime and wage disputes attorneys take on each case with passion, empathy, and a deep understanding of employee rights law.
If you believe that your employer owes you more money than you have been paid, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C.. We will help determine whether your employer has violated the law and talk through the options you may have for financial recovery. Call us at (856) 817-6221 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with a lawyer today.
Do I Need an Overtime Violations and Wage/Hour Disputes Attorney?
When employers intentionally underpay their workers, they are unlikely to easily answer for what they’ve done. Even when they accidentally underpay, it can be difficult to make them see how they have misstepped.
There are many confusing areas of wage/employment law that can be exploited or misunderstood, causing a worker to miss out on earned pay. For example, let’s say that a manager refuses to pay overtime because he or she didn’t ask an employee to work overtime. Nonetheless, that manager still permitted this employee to work overtime by not sending the employee home. In this case, overtime pay is due to the employee — but from the worker’s perspective, this can be hard to assert when your boss insists that he or she is in the right.
This is where a lawyer comes in. An experienced overtime and wage/hour disputes attorney will have the legal know-how to clarify your work situation and identify any compensation you may be owed. Furthermore, when it comes time to request this compensation, an attorney will serve as an important middle-person between you and your employer. This will help protect you from pressure that you may otherwise feel in attempts to negotiate directly with your supervisor.
Why Choose The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. to Handle My Case?
The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. is committed to advocating for workers across the State of New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia region. Each of our attorneys has extensive experience handling workers’ rights claims, and we have represented employees in a wide variety of industries. Whether we are fighting workplace discrimination or pursuing compensation for unpaid overtime work, we dedicate our attention, energy, and passion for employees’ rights to every case on our docket.
In our years of practice, The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. has already earned a name for itself in New Jersey and Philadelphia. We have won hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation for our clients.
Your attorney will approach your case with the knowledge, confidence, and sensitivity that is necessary in wage and hour dispute cases. We will both aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve and work to maintain the comfort of your workplace and employer/employee relationships.
Even if you are unsure of whether you need a lawyer to recover wages, we can assess your situation and lay out your options for getting the pay you earned.
Types of Cases We Handle
There are various ways that employers can underpay their employees for all of the time they have worked. Whether a worker hasn’t been paid properly for overtime or has been given less than the state minimum wage, The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks P.C. works tirelessly to defend workers’ right to fair pay. Below, we describe the main types of wage/hour disputes that our attorneys handle on behalf of workers in all fields.
Misclassification of Exempt Status:
Some workers, such as salaried employees who make a certain amount of money per week, are not eligible to receive overtime pay. Unfortunately, many hourly employees who should receive overtime are often misclassified as “salaried” or “exempt” from overtime wages. This incorrect classification may very well be made on accident. Still, regardless of the employer’s intent, this mistake can result in a serious amount of lost wages for an employee who has worked overtime.
Misclassification as an Independent Contractor:
Many times individuals who should be compensated as an employee are hired as an independent contractor. When an hourly worker is misclassified as an independent contractor, this worker stands to lose the time-and-a-half pay that is owed for overtime work. Labeling an employee as an “independent contractor” saves the employer money. Employers do not pay federal or state taxes on behalf of independent contractors. In addition, independent contractors are not covered under the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. In cases of potential work misclassification, an employment attorney will be able to determine your correct classification and whether you are owed overtime pay.
Uncounted or miscounted overtime:
In addition to misclassification of work, there are other ways that employers can fail to count overtime that is legally due. One example of this is the instance discussed above, when a manager refuses to pay overtime because he or she did not specifically ask the employee to work overtime.
Workers can also lose overtime pay when their hours are illegally averaged over a two-week pay period. According to the law, overtime should be counted each week. Still, some employers will calculate pay by averaging the hours worked over two weeks. For example, if an hourly employee works 60 hours one week and 20 hours the next, this person may be paid as if he or she worked two 40-hour weeks. However, this employee would in fact be owed 20 hours of overtime pay for hours worked in the first week of the pay period.
Employer’s failure to pay for all working time:
Oftentimes, an employer will fail to pay for all of the time worked by an employee. This can result from a simple misunderstanding on the employer’s part, or can be an intentional and unethical bid to conserve company money. In either scenario, it is important for workers to understand when their actions qualify for pay.
Generally speaking, whenever an hourly worker does something at the behest or for the benefit of the employer, that is working time that should be compensated. This is true whether or not the work was done at the usual job site. Here are some examples of compensable time that are often overlooked to the detriment of workers.
- Missed lunch breaks
- Short (less than 20-minute) breaks
- Driving time from an office to a job site
- Checking and responding to emails from home
- Preparing work equipment
- Doing other preparatory work for a job
- Cleaning up after a job
- On-call time
- Attending training sessions for a job
In the above cases as well as many others, an employer is legally responsible for paying workers for their time. If you believe you haven’t been rightfully compensated for all of the time you’ve worked, an employment attorney can help you formulate a plan to earn back this pay.
Minimum wage violations:
When an employer fails to pay workers at or above the state and federal minimum wage, this employer can be held legally responsible for the wages they owe. The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour, while New Jersey’s minimum wage is $11.00/hour as of January 1, 2020. Therefore, if a New Jersey worker earns less than $11.00/hour from their employer, this worker is entitled to compensation to make up the difference between their actual pay and the legal minimum wage.
Minimum wage violations can occur subtly in cases involving tipped workers. When employees earn tips, their hourly wage plus average tips (by the hour) must add up to at least the minimum wage. If this total amount equals less than the minimum wage, then the employer has violated minimum wage law. This can happen for various reasons, including if the tip pool has been split amongst managers or other employees who don’t work for tips. In such instances, a wage lawyer will work to determine whether improper tip-splitting has occurred and how it has affected tipped workers’ wages.
Contact The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C.
At our firm, our team’s skill and experience have earned the trust of our clients, whose reviews stand as a testament to our high-quality work on behalf of employees across New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia region. Our New Jersey employment lawyers will be ready to put our skills and resources to work for you.
If you believe your employer has unfairly denied you wages that you earned, contact The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. today. Because the legal time limit that exists to file such a claim — also known as the statute of limitations — is relatively short, it is important to act quickly. Fill out our contact form or call us at (856) 817-6221 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced employment attorney now.