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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.

Regulated Wages And Hours

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 premium pay for any time above 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 duty.
  • 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 allow 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 employment practices for compliance with wage and hour laws. We also offer defense against employees’ suits, seeking fair resolutions by the least contentious means.

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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 double the amount of backpay owed.
  • The plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and court costs.
  • Depending on circumstances, such claims must be made within two or three years after the work is performed.

Another remedy is an FLSA collective action where an employer systematically denies earned wages to a large number of its workers. We have experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in such actions, including cases with hundreds of plaintiffs

Working to Secure Overtime for First Responders

Many of our clients who are sheriff deputies, police officers, 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.” However, this classification is often wrong 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, police chief, fire chief or others who make policy but 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 successfully represented many 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.
  • Clayton County Sheriff’s Department.
  • 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).
  • Union City Fire Department.
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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 a consultation. Our Atlanta office has convenient on and off-street parking and is ADA accessible.