As a successful business owner, you might have employees, and those employees work hard. They are productive and put in long hours to make sure your operation is running smoothly. You want to keep them happy and productive, as well as being in compliance with the applicable labor laws. One common oversight among even the best employers is overtime pay. What is overtime pay, and why should you pay it?
The Fair Labor Standards Act
The federal law that governs overtime pay is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires that any non-exempt employee that works more than 40 hours per week shall get paid time and a half for any time worked more than 40 hours in that week. The FLSA applies in the State of Texas and, therefore, Houston-area employers must comply with this statute. The characterization of employees as exempt or non-exempt is very nuanced, and it is best to speak with a business attorney at Weisblatt Law Firm, LLC before making that determination. Until you speak with an attorney, it is best to proceed with caution as to the payment of overtime.
Penalties for Not Complying With the FLSA
If you, as an employer, do not comply with the FLSA by failing to pay time and a half for overtime, then you are subjecting yourself to many harsh penalties, including:
- Payment for two to three years of unpaid overtime pay
- Statutory damages for noncompliance
- Payment of your employee’s attorney’s fees and court expenses
- Other damages.
Not to mention that you will also need to retain legal counsel to defend against any lawsuits brought under the FLSA. Needless to say, this will be much more costly than simply paying the overtime as required by law.
What Should You Do if You Have Not Been Paying Overtime
If you are a business owner who has not been paying employees overtime but should have been, it is imperative to speak with an attorney at Weisblatt Law Firm, LLC today. These errors can be corrected with disclosure, compensation, and waivers, but it is a difficult negotiation that is best handled by attorneys rather than the business owner personally. Under no circumstance is it advisable to ignore the problem or sweep it under the rug.
Call the Houston Business Law Attorney at Weisblatt Law Firm, LLC, Today
If you are an employer in the Houston area, make sure you are in compliance with the FLSA’s overtime laws. The penalties for noncompliance are high, and the difficulties associated with correcting noncompliance are plenty. The Houston attorneys at Weisblatt Law Firm, LLC, can review your records for FLSA compliance, and if you are not in compliance, they can assist you in obtaining compliance and heading off any possible costly lawsuits against your business. Contact the Weisblatt Law Firm, LLC, today, at (713) 666-1981 or through our contact page, to discuss the overtime pay of your employees. Make sure your employees are getting what they deserve, and you are protected from penalties under the FLSA.
Attorney Andrew Weisblatt
Mr. Weisblatt has practiced continuously since becoming licensed in 1992 and has represented businesses ranging in size from one person start-up ventures to multi-national corporations employing hundreds of people in multiple countries. From 2005 through 2009 Mr. Weisblatt was in-house counsel and chief operating officer of a multi-national corporation in the steel products industry. That in-house position provided valuable insight into how businesses work and what they actually need from their lawyers – both in-house and outside counsel.