I work for a chapter of a large nation nonprofit society here on LI. As a nonexempt employee we weekly work 50 - 60 hour work weeks in order to meet our societies (mission) objectives. However no one ever puts in for overtime, or even speaks of doing so.. We regularly attend a variety of fundraising activities and relationship building events outside normal business working hours with no compensation. I realize we do so in order to support the socities mission however it's beginning to get ridiculous and there is constant pressure on all of us on a daily basis to work such long hours. At this point is my time after regular working hours 37.5 considered volunteering or should we be getting compensated for this time? Also what specific laws is the society in violation of because I have been told that nonprofit's operate under different a set of rules when it comes to labor issues like this.. Also to whom would I follow-up with this without putting myself and my job in jeopardy outside the societies HR Department..? Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your timely response...
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
All employees of not for profits are governed by the department of labor. Depends whether you are management or an employee. Speak with your HR department and NYS dept of labor.
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Employment / Labor Attorney
Yes, my colleagues are correct about the department of labor. However, you do have a private cause of action under the fair labor standards act. It does not matter that you work for a non-profit. You are entitled to be compensated "time and a half" for all hours worked in excess of forty hours per week. Under the fair labor standards act, there us generally a two year statute of limitations, (or three if you can show it was done intentionally). Additionally, you may be entitled to liquidated damages (double the amount of what is owed to you).
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There are two questions that need to be answered to determine if your employer is violating Federal and State law. First, are you correctly categorized as an salaried employee? If you are not, your employer cannot deny you overtime for hours worked over 40 hours per week. Many employees are often categorized as "management" to justify a salary only policy--however if you have no real management duties or discretion, it is possible that your employer is violating the law. The second question is whether your employer is somehow exempt from these regulations for some reason. You should contact an attorney experienced with the Fair Labor Standards Act to answer these questions.
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