I was Demoted for Making an Overtime Claim in New York City: What are my Rights?

If You Were Demoted for Making an Overtime Claim in New York, Call Our New York City Overtime Lawyer

Both federal law and New York law protect employees in certain ways to achieve fairness and prevent abusive practices in the workplace.  Overtime is one of the overarching principles which requires employers to pay employees at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.  There are some exemptions and exceptions to paying overtime which can make these rules confusing to both employees and employers alike.  This may lead to some arguments in the workplace as to compensation.  If some arguments get severe enough, there may be ramifications.  Unfortunately, it is usually the employees who suffer first.

One common way that employers get back at employees is through a demotion.  However, both federal and New York law govern the conduct of employers when an employee questions overtime wages.  This can be a fact-dependent issue, but employees should also consult with an experienced New York City overtime lawyer if they have been demoted after questioning overtime.

Can I be Demoted for Filing an Overtime Claim?

If an employee files an overtime claim under wither the Fair Labor Standards Act (federal law) or under New York’s Labor Law, an employer cannot take “retribution” against the employee.  Meaning that an employer cannot punish and employee who is trying to protect his or her rights to overtime. There can be no adverse or aggressive action against the employee by the employer.

While firing an employee may be the most obvious way that an employer will get back at an employee seeking overtime wages, some employers try to be sneaky and demote them instead.  This is also prohibited under both federal and state law.  Therefore, employees who are demoted after filing an overtime claim should contact an overtime lawyer because they may have greater rights under the law.

Can I be Demoted for Asking for Overtime?

This is a trickier analysis which always requires counsel to review the facts and law.  While an employer cannot take retributive acts against an employee for filing an overtime claim or seeking overtime, if an employee merely asks for overtime the same protections may not apply.  This is because New York Labor Law explicitly provides who is and who is not entitled to overtime.  An employee may not necessarily be eligible for overtime, thus asking may be more conversational and inquisitive rather than enforcing a right.  There is also no technical “claim” which has been filed, those it would not trigger the statute per se (or automatically on its face).

However, if an inquiring employee actually is eligible for overtime and has not been paid overtime, and the employer demotes the employee to a position which is not eligible for overtime, than this may constitute retribution.

Demoted After Filing or Asking for Overtime?  Call our New York City Overtime Lawyer to Learn Your Rights

Overtime is a very complicated statute when you begin to assess whether there has been retribution by an employer to an employee seeking overtime.  The experienced New York City overtime attorneys at SAMUEL & STEIN are dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of employers and working people throughout New York and New Jersey.  We have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to ensure your legal rights are protected and you are not taken advantage of.  Call us today by dialing (646) 480-2149 or use the convenient “Evaluate Now” box on our webpage.  Together we can help answer your questions and protect your rights.

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