Court rules in favor of employees in overtime case

Tennessee workers may be entitled to overtime pay under the terms of the Fair Labor Standards Act thanks to a federal court ruling. The ruling was made by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Tom Hughes and Desmond McDonald v. Gulf Interstate Field Services Inc. It involved two welders who each made more than $100,000 per year while working for Gulf Interstate in 2013 and 2014.

According to the FLSA, employees may be exempt from overtime if they are in bona fide executive or professional capacities. Gulf Interstate argued that the plaintiffs met that criteria in this case. The two men in the lawsuit worked as inspectors on a welding project in Ohio during their time with the company. In the court's ruling, the men acknowledged that they were paid in a way that could have made them exempt.

However, the court also acknowledged that their salary alone didn't necessarily exempt them from overtime pay as provided by the FLSA. The ruling from the 6th Circuit was unanimous in favor of the employees, and it overturned a summary judgment originally granted by a district court. Under the FLSA, nonexempt workers are paid extra for any weeks in which they work more than 40 hours.

If a worker has been denied overtime pay, it may be a violation of federal employment law. Employees may be able to file a lawsuit seeking lost wages and other compensation related to pursuing the case. An attorney may be able to help an employee recover compensation either through a lawsuit or a negotiated settlement. Employees may be able to take action against an employer as a class if many people throughout a company have been denied overtime or have not been paid a minimum wage.

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