Unpaid Time / Overtime: Wage & Hour​

Unpaid Time / Overtime: Wage & Hour​​ Forms & Services

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Have you been underpaid at Amazon?

Do you feel you’ve been underpaid at Amazon?

Were you forced to work overtime hours but not paid at an overtime rate?

Did Amazon fail to pay you properly during a “paid” leave?

Were you treated like an employee but paid as a contractor?

Here are some things you should know about wage and hour laws and wage theft by employers.

Wage and Hour Laws

Federal, state, and local laws regulate employee wages and hours. Some state and local laws provide greater protections than federal laws do.

Federal enforcement of laws about wages and hours is handled by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the US Department of Labor.

Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act

As the US Department of Labor explains,

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.

FLSA Minimum Wage

The FLSA sets a federal per-hour minimum wage, and many states and cities also have their own minimum wage laws.

Where both state and federal minimum wage laws apply, an employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage.

FLSA Overtime

As the Department of Labor notes,

Covered nonexempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per workweek (any fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours – seven consecutive 24-hour periods) at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. There is no limit on the number of hours employees 16 years or older may work in any workweek. The FLSA does not require overtime pay for work on weekends, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days.

Overtime pay must be at a rate not less than time and one-half an employee’s regular rates of pay.

What does it mean to be an “exempt” or a “non-exempt” employee?

The main difference between an “exempt” and “non-exempt” employee is whether they’re eligible for overtime and minimum wage rates.

“Exempt” and “non-exempt” status is determined under the FLSA.

Employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees are exempt if they meet certain tests regarding their job duties and salary.

The salary level for exempt employees changes from time-to-time. At the moment, according to the Department of Labor,

To qualify for exemption, employees generally must be paid at not less than $684 per week on a salary basis. These salary requirements do not apply to outside sales employees, teachers, and employees practicing law or medicine. Exempt computer employees may be paid at least $684 on a salary basis or on an hourly basis at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour.
Being paid on a “salary basis” means an employee regularly receives a predetermined amount of compensation each pay period on a weekly, or less frequent, basis. The predetermined amount cannot be reduced because of variations in the quality or quantity of the employee’s work. 

An Hour’s Pay for an Hour’s Work

The FLSA requires that an employee must be paid for all hours worked.

As the Department of Labor explains,

Hours worked ordinarily include all the time during which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed workplace.

What counts as “work” and a “workday”?

As the Department of Labor explains,

The workweek ordinarily includes all time during which an employee is necessarily required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty or at a prescribed work place. “Workday”, in general, means the period between the time on any particular day when such employee commences his/her “principal activity” and the time on that day at which he/she ceases such principal activity or activities. The workday may therefore be longer than the employee’s scheduled shift, hours, tour of duty, or production line time.

“Work” hours can include:

· Waiting Time
· On-Call Time
· Rest and Meal Periods
· Lectures, Meetings, and Training Programs
· Travel Time (in some situations, not including a regular commute to work)

Do wage and hour laws apply to independent contractors?

As the Department of Labor explains,

A worker is entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when there is an employment relationship between the worker and an employer and there is coverage under the FLSA. The Wage and Hour Division is responsible for determining whether an employee has been misclassified as an independent contractor and has been denied critical benefits and labor standards protections.

Wage Theft

Wage theft is a major crime that often is under-reported and usually goes unpunished.

As The Guardian explains,

Wage theft occurs whenever an employer doesn’t pay workers according to the law. And it can take many forms. Sometimes employers fail to pay minimum wage. Sometimes employers don’t pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours a week. In other cases, employers force workers to perform tasks “off the clock” and without pay.

Just how big is the problem? As The Guardian reports,

A 2017 study of minimum wage violations, which is just one kind of wage theft, found that in the 10 most populous states “2.4 million workers lose $8bn annually (an average of $3,300 per year for year-round workers) to minimum wage violations –nearly a quarter of their earned wages.” In these states, wage theft affected “17% of low-wage workers, with workers in all demographic categories being cheated out of pay”. A typical victim of wage theft “is losing, on average, $3,300 per year and receiving only $10,500 in annual wages.”

If similar levels of wage theft are found in other states, it suggests “the total wages stolen from workers due to minimum wage violations exceeds $15bn each year.” That’s more than the value of stolen goods in all property crimes, according to the latest FBI statistics.

Wage Underpayment at Amazon

Business Insider reported that Amazon agreed to pay contract delivery drivers $8.2 million to settle a wage-theft lawsuit:

The lawsuit, originally filed by two Amazon delivery drivers in 2017, had alleged Amazon was partly to blame for illegally failing to pay drivers the minimum wage and denying them compensation for overtime and rest breaks.

Another Business Insider article noted that
California’s labor commissioner fined Amazon and Green Messengers, a contractor used by Amazon to deliver packages, $6.4 million for stealing wages from 718 delivery drivers, the regulator announced in a press release Monday.

Its investigation found that the drivers, who were employed by Green Messengers to work 10-hour shifts, often had to work more than 11 hours and skip their meal and rest breaks in order to complete their Amazon delivery routes due to the high volume of packages.

The Verge reported that

Amazon will pay $61.7 million to Flex drivers to settle allegations of stolen tips, after an extensive investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission. The figure represents the total amount of allegedly withheld tips over the two and a half years that Amazon Flex’s controversial base pay system was in place.

The New York Times reported that Amazon’s system for tracking paid and unpaid leave is a mess and resulted in many workers being underpaid:

For at least a year and a half — including during periods of record profit — Amazon had been shortchanging new parents, patients dealing with medical crises and other vulnerable workers on leave, according to a confidential report…. Some of the pay calculations at [one] facility had been wrong since it opened its doors over a year before. As many as 179 of the company’s other warehouses had potentially been affected, too.

What can you do if you were underpaid at Amazon?

If you were underpaid at Amazon, call attorney Cj Rosenbaum at 212-256-1109, text 212-256-8492, or email CJ@AmazonSellersLawyer.com. You can also submit a summary of your situation online .

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Rosenbaum, Famularo & Segall, P.C.

Telephone: 212-256-1109

Email: CJ@AmazonSellersLawyer.com

Address: 138 East Park Ave. Long Beach, NY 11561

Copyright 2021 – Rosenbaum, Famularo & Segall, P.C., the law firm behind Amazon Sellers Lawyer – All Rights Reserved – New York – Shenzhen – Yiwu

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