With the American economy in the midst of its worst downturn in decades, corporations are trying to squeeze that last buck out of every corner they can. Job satisfaction is going down across the board. One largely unsung issue that may be elevating to epidemic proportions is “Off the Clock” work.
For many, going unpaid for the work you perform for your employer is illegal. Many corporations in the U.S. are, unfortunately, asking their workers to buck up and work without minimum wage or overtime pay. This violates both New York and Federal law. The plain fact of the matter is that the laws are designed to protect during the bad times as well as the good. Just because there is not as much money to go around does not mean that it is all right to ask workers to work off the clock without compensation.
Full Time Employees in New York
For the most part, New York State follows Federal guidelines when it comes to minimum wage and overtime. If a non-exempt employee is performing work of any sort for their employer, they are to be paid at least minimum wage for their work. If they are working over forty hours in a work week, then any time worked above that is eligible for overtime pay. Live in employees may claim overtime after forty-four hours as well. Naturally, standard exemptions apply to certain types of employees, including certain interships.
However, a controversial case is brewing in New York that might potentially change how the law sees interns nationwide. An intern is suing Harper’s Bazaar, claiming that minimum wage is due to all intern workers and that internships are exploitive. We will follow this case closely and continue to report on its significant role in the wage and hour litigation world.
Full Time Workers That Receive Tips
If your employer claims that you are not entitled to overtime pay because you receive tips in your line of work (such as a restaurant server, delivery driver, dancer, etc.), then your employer is out of compliance with New York and Federal law. All work performed by these types of workers are subject to minimum wage and overtime law.
If you are a non-exempt, hourly worker, an employer cannot refuse to pay you time working off the clock. You are entitled to be paid for all hours work at minimum wage or an overtime rate if over 40 hours in a work week. If you feel you are being forced to work “off the clock” meaning you are not being paid for your time, then you should contact an attorney familiar with these laws immediately. For a free consultation, contact the law offices of Valli Kane & Vagnini, LLP at (866) 441-2873. You need a talented lawyer that is not afraid to take on exploitive employers that disregard the law.
It is one thing to convince yourself that it was unjust that you lost your job. Self-justification is one of the strongest human drives. It is tough thing to admit that maybe your performance was not up to par. It is another thing to think that an employer fired you for illegal reasons such as discrimination.
A team of New York discrimination attorneys point out that if you were fired for illegal reasons, you may be able to sue the employer for compensation, for other related losses and to prevent them from doing this to other employees. These same New York discrimination attorneys say that employees need to learn their rights.
Know Your Rights
Under federal law and, as New York discrimination attorneys will inform you, under New York law, you cannot be terminated or suffer any adverse employment action because of race discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, disability discrimination, age discrimination, discrimination due to sexual orientation, discrimination due to gender or discrimination due to membership in any protected group. If you believe that you have been fired, demoted or overlooked for a promotion as a result of discrimination and you are in the area, contact New York discrimination attorneys to discuss you options.
Employers have been known to fire employees for simply mentioning perceived discrimination or complaining about discrimination. If an employer has done any of this, they have broken the law. Complaining about discrimination in the workplace is your right and should be able to talk about it without fear of being terminated.
If you have reported discrimination, threatening behavior or illegal behavior by your employer and have been fired or retaliated against, you may want to explore your legal options. If you are in the area, call you New York discrimination attorneys to schedule a consultation.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
If you believe your employer illegally discriminated against you as an employee, you can proceed to bring charges against the employer without an attorney. The process is very involved. It can be confusing and quite overwhelming. You can be reasonably certain that when you bring charges, you will be confronted by the employer’s attorneys. Since the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the job discrimination laws, sometimes the person who brings the charge is under the mistaken impression that the EEOC is in their corner and will help them with their case. In fact, the EEOC’s job is to investigate the charge and be neutral in their finding of facts. It is wise to seek council. If you are in the area, contact your New York discrimination attorneys who can help you in drafting and submitting your discrimination charge.