Yes. I would recommend filing a collective/class action to obtain wages you and others are owed. If you have additional questions or concerns I would be happy to answer your questions as I have handled a number of these cases throughout the State.
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You and your coworkers may be entitled to overtime pay. I encourage you to consult in person with an employment attorney to get a thorough evaluation. Good luck.
My answers to questions posted on AVVO are intended to provide general information only, and are not intended to be legal advice. Employment law issues typically require a careful case-by-case analysis. Consequently, if you feel that you need legal advice, I would encourage you to consult in person with an employment attorney in your area.
You should all go to the same lawyer.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Yes are entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek in the last 6 years. In addition to the unpaid overtime, you and your co-workers would be entitled to recover penalties which will double the amount owed to you. For example, if you are owed a total of $20,000 in unpaid overtime, you would be entitled to a total of $40,000 under the NY Labor Code and Fair Labor Standards Act. Sounds like you have a good case.
Please contact an experienced employment lawyer, ASAP to determine if violations of the NY State Labor Law/Wage Theft Prevention Act, or any other applicable statute, are taking place.
It’s crucial that you and your fellow employees are keeping track of the hours you actually work. With devices such as hand-helds that have all types of recording, photographing, and note-taking capacities, it should be very simple to keep contemporaneous records about how you all are working overtime hours even if the employer is not keeping accurate time records, or in many cases, no time records.
The law protects those who are not legal residents as well; we have represented undocumented workers who were not being paid their lawful wages. Given our immigration law practice in addition to employment law practice, we also are able to advise clients on concurrent immigration issues they are having, while helping them resolve their wage and hour claims.
Please ensure that a legal consultation is scheduled ASAP.
Even if not all of your colleagues are willing to seek legal advice, at least you should, to vindicate your own rights.
-Denise K. Bonnaig