Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 5, 2019

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What are an employee’s wage and hour rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when their job has been misclassified? That’s a question for which many employers and employees alike continue to struggle. Here’s some clarification:

Employee Wage & Hour Rights: FLSA & Unpaid Overtime

Employers are required to pay overtime wages to all non-exempt employees under the FLSA. If an employee’s job title is misclassified and he or she is actually non-exempt under the FLSA (regardless of whether the misclassified employee is paid hourly or on a salary basis) the employee is entitled to overtime compensation at a rate of 1.5 times his or her regular hourly rate of pay for each hour worked.

Employees who are successful in bringing these claims against their employers are also entitled to liquidated damages in an amount two times the amount of unpaid wages if the employer’s conduct was intentional. Unpaid wages may include time spent working before and after an employee’s actual scheduled shift, doing paperwork or other necessary activities and other times when it may have been necessary for the employee to perform off-the-clock work.

Wage & Hour Lawsuits: FLSA Prohibits Employer Retaliation

It is against the law for your employer to fire you or retaliate against you in any way as a result of filing an FLSA lawsuit or being part of an a collective FLSA action as the FLSA statute specifically prohibits such conduct. In fact, any adverse employment action as a result of a complaint or even a written communication complaining about unpaid overtime wages is prohibited by law, even if the lawsuit is ultimately unsuccessful.

Wage & Hour Lawsuits: Why You Should Hire An FLSA Attorney

While employers frequently misclassify employees as exempt, they sometimes misclassify workers as independent contractors instead of employees or force or allow employees to work without being paid for that time. The FLSA is a very complicated and misunderstood law. Therefore, it is always best to have your specific situation evaluated by an experienced wage and hour employment attorney to make sure your rights are being protected.