Am I entitled to overtime?

A common question that I get asked is “Am I entitled to overtime?” . Wage and hour law has experienced many changes in recent years, and it can be hard for workers to understand just what they are entitled to, and it can be just as difficult for employers to stay up to date on what is required of them.

In the United States, workers are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Provisions of FLSA include child labor laws, the 40 hour work week, requirements for overtime pay, and the federal minimum wage.  Unfortunately, some employers cut corners when it comes to various requirements of the FLSA. Some things that occur in many workplaces include


  • Management taking part of their employees tips
  • Misclassifying employees as exempt when their position is not advanced enough to claim this status
  • Asking employees to run errands on the way home, off the clock or doing extra work at home off the clock
  • Having employees dress into uniforms before and after their shift, while they are off the clock
  • Automatically deducting breaks, even when they aren’t taken
  • Not paying overtime after 40 hours of work in a work week


Exempt status is reserved for, among others,  those in professional fields, like accountants or lawyers,highly compensated individuals, management, administrative and outside salespeople. Salaries and/or commissions for these employees are generally higher than lower level workers, and much higher than tipped workers, whose minimum wage is far less than it is for other employees. Whether you’re working as a bus boy or waiter or diligently working hard at a position just to make ends meet, your job is important and you deserve to be compensated fully for what you do.

In New York State, another issue to watch for is the minimum wage, which is in the process of a gradual increase which will put the hourly amount at $9.00 per hour by 12/31/15. The first increase, from $7.25 to $8 went into effect 12/31/13, up from $7.25. At the end of 2014 the wage will rise to $8.75. Lower minimum wages are allowed for service workers who are tipped in addition to their regular paycheck, so long as those tips put their hourly wage above the minimum. Employers are required to keep employees informed about changes in minimum wage laws so they can understand their rights.

If you find that you aren’t getting paid for all the work you do, come talk to us at the Law Offices of Samuel & Stein. We have handled literally hundreds of wage and hour cases in both the Federal and state courts.We have attorneys that will fight hard for every penny that you deserve.  If you or a loved one are not sure if you have been paid properly make sure to contact us at 212.563.9884 or fill out the ‘contact us’ form and we will be in touch with you shortly

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