11 Aug 2020

Learning Your Rights About Unpaid Overtime During COVID-19

Overtime Attorney: Receiving Overtime Pay During COVID-19 

Overtime laws can be confusing to navigate without an overtime attorney. While some are exempt from overtime, others deserve wages when they work more than 40 hours in a week. a Houston employment lawyer can help you understand the law and fight an employer who avoids paying due wages.

Overtime Pay during COVID-19 for workers like these 2 women

Throughout the pandemic, the economy has seen a great deal of strain, and overtime attorneys have their work cut out for them as employer boundaries blur. Unfortunately, many employees find themselves working overtime without earning pay for their extra work.

Similarly, this applies to essential workers required to be physically present at work, such as grocery stores and delivery workers across the country. However, overtime pay is legally available to all workers who qualify. Still, not all employers understand the laws involved. 

As the pandemic continues, wage and hours problems continue to arise. Employers, however, must always maintain their obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when dealing with these issues. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hours Division has provided guidance for the Pandemic Flu and the Fair Labor Standards Act. As Houston FLSA attorneys, the Craighead Law Firm is always available to answer any questions you may have regarding this act. 

Overtime Pay Is Mandatory for Those Who Qualify 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we have seen before. While millions upon millions file for unemployment, certain industries continue to thrive. This includes businesses such as online retail and grocery stores.

However, workers in these industries now face an increased demand as well as an increased risk, facing expanded work hours in a potentially unsafe environment. Simultaneously, some of these industries face a shortage of workers as a result of this increased demand with little-to-no increase in hazard pay as workers call-out to self-quarantine. 

While the country faces this emergency, it does not mean that employees should not be paid fairly for their labor. Per the FLSA, the law requires that overtime pay be available to those who work more than 8 hours in a single day or more than 40 hours in a workweek. 

Calculating overtime pay can become more complex for those who are on salary instead of an hourly wage. However, certain salaried employees are still able to earn overtime wages. As many workers across industries are asked to put in extra time, it is crucial that they understand whether they deserve overtime wages. As Houston overtime attorneys, we are here to work with employees who feel they are owed unpaid wages. 

Unfortunately, many professional workers are exempt from earning overtime. Oftentimes, this includes doctors who are on the frontlines of this pandemic. 

Working From Home During the Pandemic 

The average workday is 8 hours. However, many who work from home find that the boundaries begin to blur. Per a study by NordVPN, workers often put in three additional hours per day while working from home. 

“The data as well revealed that employees are starting work earlier, but finishing at the same time. This is perhaps because people are not commuting, and instead of sitting in traffic, they choose to work,” explains Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN Teams.

This improper work-life balance is due to an urgency established by employers who feel they cannot expect workers to put in their hours while working remotely. To ensure you do not work overtime, it is vital to set a routine and establish boundaries. 

On-Site Work and Overtime Attorney Recommendations

As many people work from home, others return to their offices or work on location. These employees may face an overtime crisis as well. In order to keep up with the increased demand, those in the service industry as well as food and delivery workers may feel pressure to work overtime.

From grocery stores to Amazon supply centers, employers push their workers beyond the normal expectations. This type of work puts a strain on an employee’s mental and physical health in a time when health should be a higher priority. 

Instead of due overtime wages, these employees receive straight pay, forcing them to question the ethical and fiscal responsibilities of their employers.

Houston Overtime Attorneys and Employment Lawyers 

If you or someone you love has an employer who owes them overtime pay, it is vital that you seek legal assistance. At our employment law firm, our overtime attorneys understand the impact of COVID-19 on the work landscape. However, these changes do not mean employers can ignore their responsibilities. 

As Houston FLSA lawyers, we will work to investigate your case and fight to secure the compensation that you are entitled to. This can include unpaid wages, interest on those wages, and more. When you believe you are owed unpaid overtime wages, contact our overtime lawyers immediately.