Most workers assume that if their employers are not paying overtime, it is because overtime is not owed to them. This is a costly assumption. For most workers in the state of Colorado and Wyoming, overtime is a legal right. If an employer denies an eligible worker this right, or if an employer neglects to inform an eligible worker of this right, the employer may be sued for overdue overtime and the costs and headache associated with the lawsuit.
At the Olson Law Firm, our unpaid overtime lawyers help workers throughout the state recover money owed to them. Additionally, we help workers understand their rights and inform them of how to proceed to prevent illegal employer backlash. If you suspect that you are entitled to overtime, and if you have worked overtime but not been paid for your extra effort, contact our law firm today to discuss your case, possible options, and legal rights.
Who is Eligible for Overtime in Colorado?
Before you raise a ruckus about overdue overtime pay, you should first determine whether or not you are actually eligible for overtime in Colorado or Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming, like all other 49 states in the union, must abide by the standards set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA, any person who receives hourly pay generally must be paid 1.5 times his or her normal wages for working more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek. If you are an hourly employee who works more than 40 hours in any given workweek, and if your employer is not paying overtime, you are entitled to overtime and may have a viable overdue overtime claim on your hands.
If you do bring a successful FLSA claim, you may be entitled to overtime back pay for any periods during which you worked overtime either two to three years prior to the lawsuit being filed. Your employer will also be liable for attorney fees and all other legal costs. In some cases, employees can recover double the amount of unpaid overtime owed, which are referred to as “liquidated damages.” Talk to your Colorado unpaid overtime attorney regarding liquidated damages and what you need to obtain them.
Who is Not Eligible for Overtime in Colorado?
Unfortunately, not all workers are entitled to compensation. While hourly workers are not the only workers entitled to overtime, the FLSA limits who in other categories may recover. It also puts restrictions on certain categories in general. Individuals who are not eligible for overtime include the following:
● Agricultural workers;
● Seasonal workers;
● Certain retail workers;
● Publicly elected or appointed officials;
● Newspaper vendors and carriers; and
Independent contractors are also exempt from overtime pay, as are volunteers.
Is Not Paying Overtime Legal? Unpaid Overtime Violations
Overtime violations are not always as obvious as an employer not paying an employee for clocked hours worked. Many employers avoid paying overtime paying overtime by using the following tactics:
● Asking Employees to Work “Off the Clock”: Thanks to technology, it is easier than ever for people to work out of office, which is why time spent working “off the clock” is the most common FLSA violation today. Employers must pay workers for hours worked at home, even if the employee voluntarily brought his or her work home to “catch up,” “get ahead,” or even just earn extra points with the boss. Furthermore, employers cannot ask employees to work through lunch or “an extra hour” just because an employee did not finish a certain project on time.
● “Comp” or “On-Call” Time: Employers routinely skirt FLSA regulations by using “on-call” or “comp” time to justify the request of an employee to work extra hours in any given day. For example, if an employer asks a worker to stay a few hours overtime one week in exchange for a day off the next week, the employer is still liable to pay the worker overtime for those extra hours worked in the seven-day timeframe.
Similarly, if an employer requests that an “on-call” employee remain on-call during certain hours, the employer may be liable for overtime should the on-call hours extend 40 hours in any given seven-day workweek.
● Misclassification: Misclassification is another common tactic employers use to avoid paying overtime. Some employers will convince their employees that because they are paid a salary, they are not eligible for overtime. Others will classify workers as independent contractors for the same reason. If an employer misclassifies a worker and fails to pay that worker in accordance with his or her proper classification, the employer may find itself the subject of an employment lawsuit.
Report Your Employer for Overtime Violations in Colorado
If you qualify for overtime wages, and if your employer is not paying overtime for extra hours worked, you may have a valid unpaid overtime wages claim. The best way to approach the issue is to contact a Colorado unpaid overtime wages lawyer regarding your rights and the best course of action. Contact Olson Law Firm today schedule your free initial consultation, and to learn what you need to do to exercise your rights. We serve accident victims and their families in Denver, CO, and Cheyenne, WY, and surrounding areas. Contact our team today to get started.