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Honolulu Attorney Helps Workers Recover Overtime and Unpaid Wages

Determined legal assistance for employees throughout Hawaii

If you are a wage worker and you work more than 40 hours a week, you may be entitled to overtime pay. However, too many businesses employ a variety of tricks to deny wage workers the overtime they have a right to. In Honolulu, Thater Law Group, P.C. helps workers make the case for the wages they’ve been unfairly denied and collect additional damages when appropriate.

What types of workers are eligible for overtime pay in Hawaii?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes a federal minimum wage and rules for overtime pay. The general rule is that salaried employees with employment agreements of a set annual salary who make at least $455 per week are exempt from overtime rules. Wage workers, those who are paid an hourly rate, are entitled to overtime pay at one-and-a-half times their regular rate for any time they work over 40 hours in a week. (The FSLA defines a week as any regularly recurring period of 168 consecutive hours, or seven consecutive 24-hour periods.) However, workers in dairy, sugarcane, or seasonal agricultural jobs must work 48 hours in a week before they receive overtime.

Honolulu employment attorney holds employers accountable for paid overtime

All employers are required to abide by federal and state wage and hour law. However, many use tricks to deceive their workers about whether they are eligible for overtime, such as:

  • Denying overtime to low-salaried employees — As stated above, workers who earn less than $455 a week are entitled to overtime even if they are technically paid a salary rather than wages.
  • Improperly classifying workers as independent contractors — An independent contractor is not considered an employee and therefore not covered by FLSA. However, a company can’t simply call you a contractor if your job has all the characteristics of an employee position. True independent contractors actually maintain an independent business: they work for whomever they choose, not just one employer; provide their own materials and tools for the job; control their work rather than being closely managed; and can turn down assignments from an employer without consequences.
  • Requiring workers to clock out while they are still working — If your boss tells you to clock out and then gives you work to do, your time is being stolen.
  • Giving nonexempt duties to exempt employees — If you are a salaried employee but you find yourself doing some of the same tasks as the wage workers, you deserve compensation for any overtime those tasks cause.
  • Requiring off-hours work — In today’s economy, the traditional office space is not where all the work gets done. Employees can use smartphones, tablets, laptops and wireless technology to work virtually anywhere. If your boss has you on call, answering late-night emails or fielding phone calls, any time spent should be applied to your weekly total.
  • Pre-shift meetings — When you are meeting on company business, you should be on company time.
  • Improper lunch deductions — If you have to clock out for lunch but spend that time completing tasks for the company, your employer is stealing your time.

If you have dealt with any of these issues at work, our employment law team can help you recover the wages and overtime you’ve been denied. In certain situations, additional damages may also apply, so you can wind up recovering more than you lost.

Contact a capable Hawaii employment lawyer who enforces wage and hour laws

Thater Law Group, P.C. represents wage earners who’ve been unfairly denied a minimum wage or overtime. For determined representation for your wage and hour dispute, call us at 855-210-1701 or contact us online. Our office is located in Honolulu, and we represent clients throughout Hawaii.


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