Atlanta Wage and Hour Lawyers Provide Counsel on Federal Statutes Protecting Workers’ Rights

Knowledgeable labor lawyers counsel employers and employees on FLSA rights and obligations

The FLSA regulates wages and hours for more than 130 million workers in the United States. It requires:

  • A nationwide minimum wage, set at $7.25 per hour since July 24, 2009
  • Overtime pay for any time in excess of 40 hours per workweek (regardless of when the workweek begins and ends), equal to one-and-a-half times the employee’s normal wage
  • That wages be paid for any time the worker is on the employer’s premises, on duty or at a prescribed workplace
  • The display of a poster outlining the requirements of the FLSA
  • Employers to keep accurate time and pay records of all of their employees
  • Restrictions on child labor

While FLSA rights cannot be waived, U.S. Department of Labor regulations describe numerous exemptions — for example, those for certain professionals, executives, agricultural workers, tipped employees, certain persons who work in transportation, and seasonal employees. Special rules apply to federal, state and local government employees. Wage and hour violations can also result from poor recordkeeping and other clerical payroll errors.

As attorneys for employers, we provide cogent counsel on best practices for keeping in compliance with wage and hour laws. We also offer defense against employees’ suits, seeking fair resolutions by the least contentious means.

Proven employment lawyers work to obtain appropriate remedies

Wage and hour lawsuits can seek damages that include:

  • The unpaid amount of wages and other pay and financial benefits due
  • In cases of employer bad faith, liquidated damages that essentially doubles the amounts owed
  • The plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and court costs

Such claims must be made within either two or three years after the work is performed depending on circumstances. Another remedy is an FSLA collective action alleging that an employer engaged in a systematic denial of earned wages to a large number of its workers. We have experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in such actions.

Working to secure overtime for first responders

Many of our clients who are sheriff deputies, correction officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel frequently are not paid overtime. Sometimes the departments they work for claim they are “executives” because they supervise other public safety officers or are “administrators” because they do “paperwork.” Their employers usually are incorrect in classifying and paying them, due to what is known as the “first responder” regulation, 29 C.F.R. §541.3(b)(1).  Under that regulation, a broad group of first responders — those whose primary responsibility includes enforcing laws, fighting fires, supervising inmates, rendering medical aid or performing similar services — are entitled to overtime. Depending on their specific duties, supervisory officers who still perform first-responder functions — even if they are also supervising other first responders — are entitled to be paid overtime. Only the highest level, top-tier managers — such as the sheriff, chief deputy, fire chief and assistant fire chief, who make policy and do not typically perform the duties of enforcing the law, rescuing victims or putting out fires — are truly exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Recently, we have successfully represented a number of supervisory level first responders seeking to obtain back pay for past overtime work and future commitments to pay overtime for the following:

  • Atlanta Police Department (Arson Investigators)
  • City of Atlanta Corrections Department
  • City of Morrow Police Department
  • City of South Fulton Firefighters’ Union
  • Clayton County Sheriff’s Department
  • Cobb County Fire Department
  • Coweta County Firefighters’ Union
  • Dekalb County Fire Department
  • East Point Fire Department (Lieutenants & Battalion Chiefs)
  • Fulton County Sheriff’s Department
  • Gwinnett County Fire Department
  • Haralson County Sheriff’s Department
  • Houston County Sheriff’s Department
  • Jasper County Fire and Rescue
  • Lifeline EMS (Private First Responders)
  • Newton County Fire Department (Battalion Chiefs)
  • Rockdale County Fire Department (Battalion Chiefs)
  • Rockdale County Firefighters’ Union
  • Union City Fire Department

Contact a Georgia lawyer experienced in wage and hour issues

Whichever side of a wage and hour dispute you are on, the attorneys of DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin, LLC will work diligently to obtain a just outcome. Call us at 470-443-0524 or contact us online to arrange for a consultation. Our Atlanta office has convenient on and off-street parking and is ADA accessible.