Attorneys James T. Carey and P. Zachary Stewart

Pursuing your Claims. Protecting your Rights.

Boss uses flat rate to avoid overtime pay for workers

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2020 | Overtime And Wage Issues

One area of employment law where many business owners get into trouble is the requirement to keep accurate records of the hours an employee works. Without these records, it may be impossible to know when an employee qualifies for overtime pay and how much pay that employee should receive. Failing to pay the minimum wage for the state and 150% of that rate for overtime is too common among West Virginia employers.

Penalties for employers

Employers who do not pay the required amount of overtime may face some serious penalties under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This may include back payments of unpaid overtime with interest and possibly other damages. For one employer in another state, this added up to over $123,000 after his 55 employees reported his violations of the FLSA.

Investigators concluded that the owner of a chain of three vape shops had violated the FLSA in numerous ways. Instead of paying his employees an hourly wage, he gave them a flat salary. This excluded them from the opportunity to earn overtime pay for the many hours they worked beyond 40 in a week. The employer also violated the law by failing to keep accurate records of his workers’ hours so he could pay them a fair wage.

While this case ended positively for the employees of this company, many in West Virginia miss out on their chances for receiving the full amount they have earned because they do not understand how to protect their rights. When an employer deprives workers of legal overtime pay, workers may lose thousands of dollars over the course of their employment. Speaking with an attorney is a wise first step when dealing with potential FLSA violations.