The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that all employees working in the United States must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. This is true regardless of how the employee is paid. While some workers are paid per piece or on commission, the wages paid to these employees, calculated against the amount of time they spent working, must average out to at least $7.25 per hour.
The FLSA also requires that all non-exempt employees who work in excess of eight hours a day or forty hours a week must be paid the proper overtime compensation of one and one-half times the employee’s normal hourly rate. This also remains true for workers who are paid on commission or on a piece-rate basis. The employer must calculate the employee’s normal hourly rate based on the wages earned and the time spent working, in order to come up with an overtime rate for the employee.
There are many advantages to a company classifying an employee as an independent contractor. The company gets to avoid paying taxes and benefits such as health insurance. However, the law has very specific requirements for the kinds of workers that can be classified as independent contractors. For example, an independent contractor must have more freedom than an employee, such as the ability to choose when and where they perform their work and the type of clothing that they wear while working. Independent contractors also get to choose how many and which clients they work for.
According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit against Avis, the car rental company allegedly misclassified some of its employees as independent contractors. The lawsuit was filed by Eduardo Ramos, who works as a driver for Avis. His responsibilities include transporting vehicles to different locations and providing various car-detailing services.
Ramos alleges that, since he started working for Avis in February 2013, he has been paid on a piece-rate basis, meaning that he and other drivers were paid per job, rather than by the hour. Although Ramos says he normally worked 40-hour weeks, he also alleges that it was not uncommon for him to work as much as 70 hours per week when Avis required him to complete additional duties. However, even when he spent more than 40 hours a week performing work for Avis, Ramos alleges that he was never paid the proper overtime compensation of one and one-half times his normal hourly rate.
Avis insists that it has done nothing wrong, because Ramos worked for them as an independent contractor, rather than an employee, and independent contractors are not entitled to overtime compensation. Ramos argues that, because he spent so much time working for Avis, he did not have time to perform work for any other employer. Instead, Ramos alleges that Avis intentionally misclassified him, and other employees, in order to avoid paying them overtime.
Ramos filed the lawsuit on behalf of himself and other Avis employees who were allegedly denied overtime compensation. The lawsuit is seeking compensation for the lost overtime wages.
The Chicago class action lawyers at Lubin Austermuehle are investigating unpaid overtime claims by waiters and bus boys and other restaurant and hotel workers against national restaurant chains including Hilton, W, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Chipotle, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Outback Steak House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s and hotels for mis-classifying employees as managers or assistant managers, forcing employees to work off the clock at business, failing to share all tips, 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 these wage theft practices call us at (630) 333-0333 or contact us online.
The Chicago class action attorneys at Lubin Austermuehle have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Park Ridge and Des Plaines. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Skokie and Lincolnwood 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.
Lubin Austermuehle is based in Chicago and Oak Brook, and represents 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.