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.
Workers in Tennessee could be missing out on significant income that they are owed if they are not receiving appropriate overtime, even if they already earn a high wage. One December 2017 U.S. Circuit Court ruling overturned a lower court to hold that two welding inspectors, each of whom earned over $100,000 each year, could be entitled to overtime pay under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Some Tennessee residents who work in what is known as the "gig economy" might actually be considered employees instead of independent contractors. In California, a lawsuit is underway in a federal court involving a man who was a driver for the company GrubHub for five months in 2015. The man says that as an employee, he was entitled to reimbursement for business expenses and overtime but that he was misclassified. GrubHub says that it simply connects drivers and customers with restaurants but is not an employer.
A Tennessee resident who makes less than $455 a week and who works in a non-exempt industry may be eligible to receive overtime pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that workers receive overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week. Tennessee state law mandates that employees get a minimum overtime wage of $10.88 per hour.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers in Tennessee are required to compensate non-exempt employees for any and all hours of overtime. That includes time spent on calls, texting or emailing after work hours from mobile devices. Tennessee employers may be liable for failure to pay overtime if they have constructive or actual knowledge of the overtime worked.
The provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act require most employers in Tennessee and across the country to pay their workers at a rate no less than the federal minimum wage. Workers who claim that their employers have violated these requirements are often able to support their allegations by providing documents like pay stubs and time sheets that may be difficult to refute, but these cases can be far more challenging when the workers involved are employed by a restaurant and are compensated partly in tips.
Workers in Tennessee should not perform work that is not compensated or is not applied to overtime. Employers are generally required by the Fair Labor Standards Act to pay overtime to employees who work over 40 hours a week.
Employers in Tennessee and around the country are required to follow the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and they can be ordered to pay penalties, fines and damages when their worker compensation policies violate the landmark 1938 law. A June 20 news brief from the Department of Labor suggests that technology startup Zenefits has avoided such sanctions, but the human resources and insurance software developer has agreed to pay more than $3 million in unpaid overtime to 743 of its sales representatives and account executives.
Tennessee workers might want to take note of the Supreme Court of the United States's denial of a writ of certiorari, allowing the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to stand. The case involved a flexible benefits plan offered by the City of San Gabriel, California in which it offered employees cash to select their own medical benefits. They could alternatively choose to accept cash instead of benefits.
Tennessee workers who may be facing a discriminatory wage disparity may be interested to learn that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has ruled that an employee's salary history could be used to set pay. This decision contradicts other appeals court rulings, meaning that the U.S. Supreme Court may need to resolve the issue.