Many workers have become accustomed to the standard 9-to-5 schedule, in which they work eight hours a day, five days a week. In some parts of the country, that has shifted to ten hours a day, four days out of the week. This gives employees a three-day weekend every week and some studies have shown this schedule actually boosts productivity.
The potential problem this new schedule poses has to do with overtime compensation. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly wages for all time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. The Act does take into account the potential for the four-day workweek, but it has specific requirements for when employees can work ten-hour days without getting paid the proper overtime rate.
In addition to the FLSA, each state has their own labor laws to govern all the employees working within the state. California, for example, not only mandates minimum wage and overtime, it also requires employers to give their workers regular meal and rest breaks. Under California labor law, for every four hours an employee spends working, she is entitled to one paid rest break lasting at least ten minutes. For every five hours worked, the employee is entitled to one unpaid meal break of at least thirty minutes. For every day an employee does not take one of these breaks, for any reason, she is entitled to one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages earned that day.
According to a recent wage and hour class action lawsuit, DirecTV allegedly failed to compensate its employees when they missed one of their breaks or were interrupted, which the lawsuit alleges happened routinely. The lawsuit also alleges DirecTV implemented the four-day workweek without notifying employees. DirecTV denies all of the claims and asserts it complied with the law.
Steven S., who filed the class action lawsuit, worked as a maintenance worker for DirecTV from 2002 to 2013. He also alleges the satellite provider improperly set his schedule for ten-hour days to prevent him and similarly situated employees from getting paid the proper overtime compensation when they worked more than eight hours a day. According to the lawsuit, DirecTV allegedly had a systematic policy of scrimping employees’ wages and avoiding paying them overtime compensation.
Steven is asking the court to certify a class of more than 100 employees who worked for DirecTV between February 2011 and the time the lawsuit was filed. When a class action lawsuit is filed under the FLSA, plaintiffs can ask for statutory and punitive damages, in addition to the cost of the actual damages (in this case the damages are the unpaid wages). It is common for these lawsuits to also ask the defendants to pay all the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and legal costs, but the current class action lawsuit against DirecTV isn’t asking for any of that. Instead, the class action lawsuit is seeking less than $75,000 and is asking only that employees be paid for the hours they worked without compensation.
The Illinois class action attorneys at Nationwide Consumer Rights are investigating unpaid overtime claims against hospitals, senior and assisted living centers and large doctor and dental practices and chains for erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at 630-333-0333 or contact us online by filling in the form at the side of this blog.
The Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers at Nationwide Consumer Rights have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. Our unpaid overtime law firm has a team of Chicago area attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices. We prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Albany Park and Cicero. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, McHenry Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Berwyn, Palos Hills and Elgin overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
Nationwide Consumer Rights is based in Chicago and Oakbrook Terrace. We represent clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at 630-333-0333 or through our online form.