Current Events

Monday, May 22, 2023

NJ Employment Attorney, Workers Not Paid Overtime and Restoring Overtime Pay Act of 2023

Workers who are deprived of legal overtime pay may be helped by the proposed Overtime Pay Act of 2023. Currently many employers are deliberately or ignorantly depriving their workers of overtime pay that they are entitled to by law, by assigning them a fake title which, if it were not a fake title, would make them exempt from having to pay them overtime wages. Workers who are not “exempt” are legally entitled to not only the minimum wage but also time and half pay for all hours over 40 hours a week. Some examples of this exploitation of workers would be a “stockroom manager” who only directs one other employee and whose duties primarily include himself doing the manual labor of stocking. Another could be an office “administrator” who does secretarial work but whose primary duties do not include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

To save money, employers would prefer these employees who work long hours to be salaried employees who are not entitled to overtime. Such employees may nevertheless be legally entitled to overtime payments when certain criteria are met.

In 2015, the Obama administration pushed a new rule that would increase the overtime salary threshold and announced the new rule in 2016. This rule was blocked by a federal judge in 2016 who issued a nationwide injunction that effectively denied 4.2 million workers overtime benefits.

When the Trump administration proposed a new rule that would have set the overtime salary threshold at $35,000, down from the $47,476 set by the Obama administration, Senate Democrats led the fight against the proposal.

Restoring Overtime Pay Act of 2023

On March 29, 2023, a bill was introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) which would make millions of American workers eligible for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours a week. If it passes the Senate and the House and is signed, it will ensure that when workers put in extra hours, they get the extra pay they’ve earned. U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and others are cosponsors of the legislation. See text of the bill here. Although it faces a challenge, passing the Restoring Overtime Pay Act will stop the exploitation by many employers and put more money in the pockets of workers who put in over 40, 50, 60 or more hours a week.

Currently fewer than 15 percent of all full-time salaried workers are guaranteed overtime pay

President Biden has pledged to make many more workers eligible for overtime pay. The Restoring Overtime Pay Act of 2023 strengthens overtime protections and guarantees that 55 percent of all salaried workers will be eligible for overtime pay. Right now, workers who make about $36,000 per year are eligible for overtime pay because they do not meet the criteria to make them exempt under federal and state laws. This legislation would immediately raise that to workers making $45,000 per year and raise that salary amount each year for five years until more than half of salaried workers nationwide are eligible for overtime.

The Employer Does Not Have the Discretion to Deny Overtime

The employer does not have the discretion to deny overtime and assign the employee a title that would make them exempt. An employer-assigned job title is insufficient to deny overtime pay.  Both the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New Jersey Wage and Hour Laws which incorporate much of the FLSA, define the circumstances by which employees are exempt from the right to receive overtime payments.

Under the FLSA and Federal Code 29 CFR 541.2, a job title alone is insufficient to establish the exempt status of an employee to which the employee would otherwise be entitled to overtime pay. The exempt or nonexempt status of any particular employee must be determined on the basis of whether the employee’s salary and duties meet the requirements of the FLSA regulations. Among other requirements, under § 541.201 (a), to qualify for the administrative exemption, an employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers. The Restoring Overtime Pay Act of 2023 will help ensure every hour of work is valued.

If You Quit Your Job, You May Lose Right to Prevail in a Lawsuit

If you quit your job, you may lose right to prevail in a lawsuit. If you are thinking of quitting, or you think you will be fired, you should know that you may lose your right to prevail in a lawsuit unless you first take certain legally required measures to preserve your job while you are still employed. If you are thinking of quitting, or think you will be fired, you should contact this office immediately to discuss your options in the safest way for you.

If You Have Been Terminated or Retaliated Against for Demanding Your Rights

If you have been suspended, had your hours slashed, or were terminated or threatened with termination for demanding wage and overtime pay for which you are entitled, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation.

What You Can Do

I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in successfully representing employees who suffered illegal discrimination in wages. If you find yourself in a situation with inadequate job security because of the aforementioned issues, if you are thinking of resigning, or have been fired or think you will be fired, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in discrimination.

I am successful in bringing employee lawsuits against governmental entities and private employers and recovering money for victims of age, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and other discrimination. If you think you are being pushed out of your job or retaliated against, you should contact this office immediately for a free consultation.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law represents workers throughout the entire state, including Hackensack, Jersey City, Newark, Irvington, Orange, East Orange, Trenton, Paterson, Montclair, Elizabeth, North Brunswick, Cherry Hill, Vineland, Union, Plainfield, Hamilton Township, Lakewood, Edison, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Franklin, Lakewood, and in every NJ County, including Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex, Essex, Monmouth, Somerset, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, Morris, Gloucester, Atlantic, Burlington, Camden Counties.


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