Finn Dusenbery represents employees in all aspects of employment law, including claims for minimum wage and overtime violations; prevailing wage violations; unpaid tips, bonuses and severance; unlawful deductions; discrimination and wrongful termination based on race, color, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or any other protected class; sexual harassment; Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) violations; and retaliation for complaining about wage violations, discrimination, or sexual harassment or taking FMLA leave. Finn also represents employees in reviewing, drafting and negotiating employment contracts, which often have unfair terms such as strict non-compete agreements or bonus provisions.
In particular, Finn has focused much of his practice on minimum wage and overtime violations. The current minimum wage in New York State is generally $10.40 per hour, unless regulations covering particular geographic areas or industries set a different minimum wage. For instance, in New York City, the current minimum wage for a worker at an employer with eleven (11) or more employees is generally $13.00 per hour. Moreover, for hours worked in excess of forty (40) per week, workers are generally entitled to be paid overtime, which is one and a half times the minimum wage or the worker’s regular rate of pay, whichever is higher. For example, a worker with a regular rate of $13.00 per hour may have an overtime rate of $19.50 per hour.
Even workers who are salaried may be entitled to overtime, unless a regulation known as an “exemption” applies to the worker. Importantly, these exemptions are meant to be narrowly drawn, which generally favors workers seeking overtime. Further, for certain exemptions to apply, employers must pay a minimum amount called a “salary threshold,” which is currently $825 per week under New York law and $455 per week under federal law. Generally, workers paid less than the salary threshold or on an hourly basis are entitled to overtime.
Many companies incorrectly call their workers “independent contractors” and not “employees” to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime. In determining whether workers are independent contractors or employees, courts may look at a number of factors, but, generally speaking, workers who are economically dependent on their employers and not running their own businesses may be employees. As the U.S. Department of Labor observed in Administrator’s Interpretation No. 2015-1 dated July 15, 2015, “…most workers are employees under the [Fair Labor Standard’s Act’s] broad definitions.”
Whether you are paid on an hourly or salary basis, you may be owed money for unpaid overtime if you work more than forty (40) hours per week, and are not paid one and a half (1.5) times the minimum wage or your regular rate of pay for each hour over forty (40). We are generally able to work on a contingency basis, which means that we are paid part of the money we recover, and you pay nothing if there is no recovery. Contact the Law Office of Finn W. Dusenbery for a free consultation.
Even if you are unsure if you have a case or not, if you believe you have not been paid overtime, severance or other wages, or have been discriminated against, contact us to learn more about your rights and options.