The federal Fair Labor Standards Act is a complex law that governs most employers in New York. Employers are required to comply with its wage and hour provisions and to pay a minimum hourly wage to their statutory, non-exempt employees. Workers sometimes file claims against their employers, alleging that the employers have violated the overtime and minimum wage provisions of the law. As one case recently demonstrates, employers may be able to defend against these lawsuits.
In the case, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, a man claimed that he had not been paid the federal minimum wage for the hours that he had worked. The man had worked for more than 10 years as a truck loader and helper in Queens. He said that he worked 72 hours per week for a salary of $600 per week. The man dismissed overtime claims that he had initially filed.
The court took the man's admissions of the number of hours that he worked in a week and simply used math to find out if he had been paid a salary that equaled at least $7.25 per hour. The court found that he had made more than the minimum wage and dismissed his complaint.
Companies that are facing claims of violating wage and hour laws might secure the representation of an employment law attorney. A lawyer may review the claims that have been made by the employee in order to identify all of the potential defenses. The attorney may file motions to dismiss if the complaints fail, such as when it is clear that the worker was paid more than the minimum wage or was not entitled to overtime pay because of his or her exempt status.