A healthcare non-profit in Springfield, Missouri under fire from federal authorities amid allegations of bribery and kickbacks to Arkansas lawmakers. At the same time that Preferred Family Healthcare was lavishing Arkansas legislators with massive amounts of money, the company was refusing to pay its employees overtime wages.
According to the lawsuit filed by Frances Smith, Preferred Family Healthcare (PFC) neglected to pay her overtime regardless of how many hours she toiled throughout the week. The suit against PFC, which has affiliates scattered throughout Arkansas, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
The case, which was filed in federal court, alleges widespread violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The company stands to lose a great deal. Under federal regulations, the company can be fined under criminal proceedings. In addition, they are liable for civil charges including fines for repeat offenses. On top of that, they will owe Frances Smith and any other employees they fleeced throughout their employment back pay with interest.
How Much Can You Win in an Overtime Wage Theft Lawsuit?
Unless you are considered an independent contractor, a “professional” employee, or an executive, your employer must pay you overtime for any hours worked over 40 per week. Each of the aforementioned terms has a legal definition and employers must ensure that the duties of each employee exempted from overtime conforms precisely to that definition.
Oftentimes, employers will willfully misclassify employees and independent contractors or salary employees who do not have managerial duties for the sole purpose of skirting the requirement to pay the employee time and half for his or her work.
That, of course, is illegal. When an employee realizes that the employer has done this, he or she can file a lawsuit against them.
In that case, you are entitled not only to your back pay for the hours worked over 40 per week, but additional damages. The first of those is interest.
Workers who have not been paid for hours they work are considered to be leaders. Their employer is considered a debtor. Each state sets the rate of interest on wage violations. In Missouri, an employee is entitled to collect twice the amount of unpaid wages.
As an employee who has been essentially robbed by their employer, you are also entitled to have your attorney’s fees paid for by the defendant.
When to Contact a Lawyer for Wage Theft
There are some cases for which you will not need an attorney to file a claim against your employer. When the amount of money in question is relatively low, you may simply be able to file a claim with the labor board to recover the damages.
On the other hand, Missouri’s Department of Labor advises Missouri employees who are owed more than $5,000 to file a claim in circuit court.
Contact a Kansas City Employer Lawyer Today
The employment attorneys at HKM Kansas City have helped thousands of employees collect the money that they are rightfully owed from their employers.