Is What My Employer Doing Illegal? Do I Need To Sue?

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Is What My Employer Doing Illegal? Do I Need To Sue?

I think my employer is doing illegal things. First, I report my shift hours and not my actual hours worked. Second, as a nonexempt employee, I’ve worked 56 hours one week and 32 hours the other. I only received 8 hours overtime and 80 hours regular pay. Third, my company delayed my paycheck. I wasn’t able to turn in my time sheet while I was on vacation, so they held it for 2 weeks. I clock in every time I work, so they knew the hours I worked, yet they still held my paycheck, plus a plethora of other shady stuff. Are there any loopholes to any of the

topics that I’m concerned about? I’m a security guard. I will also say that this business is owned by black people and that the majority of people that work there are black. Actually, I only know one other white person that works here and she’s in her 60’s. My supervisor always talks down to me like I’m stupid and treats me like I’m not human. I feel like this is a race issue too.

Asked on July 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There are several possible grounds to sue here:
1) Employers must record, and employees must be paid for, actual hours worked, not shift hours.
2) Employers pay overtime based on weekly work, not based on the pay period, so 56 hours one week, 32 the next, should be 72 hours at base pay and 16 hours overtime.
3) Treating an employee differently or worse (including "talking down to" him or or her) due to his/her race is illegal employment discrimination.
(It is ok to delay a paycheck if the employee was late handing in a timesheet, even if that was due to being on vacation.)
1) and 2) above are things the state department of labor could help you with; 3) is generally for the EEOC or the state's equal/civil rights agency. Since you have a number of claims crossing two different areas of the law (labor/wage law and employment discrimination law), you may wish to consult with an employment law attorney about how best to proceed, which could include a lawsuit. Good luck.


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