North Carolina hospital employees and employees in special care jobs devote their lives to helping others. While many people assume that working long hours is just a part of the job, countless hospital and care employees work overtime and do not receive the pay they deserve. Learn more about the overtime rule on salary for exempt hospital & care employees in North Carolina and whether you might be entitled to overtime pay.
If you believe your employer owes you overtime pay, call Phil Gibbons Law today: 704-612-0038.
Who is entitled to overtime pay?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the North Carolina Wage Act set minimum wage, overtime pay, and other employment standards for employees in certain positions. Overtime pay laws guarantee non-exempt employees 1.5 times their salary for every hour worked over 40 hours.
Under the FLSA, employees are either exempt and non-exempt depending on their salary and job descriptions.
The FLSA classifies various types of employees as exempt from overtime requirements. These employees generally work in white collar positions and have administrative, executive, professional, computer-related, or outside sales job duties.
Exempt employees must also be salaried and earn over $455 per week. Employers benefit from exempt employees in that they do not have to track their hours or pay them for the overtime hours worked. However, these exemptions have very specific criteria and employers have a responsibility to prove that their employees are accurately classified as exempt by meeting these criteria.
Non-exempt employees typically are not paid on a salary basis, but receive an hourly wage. Employees that do not fit into any of the exemption categories mentioned in the FLSA may be non-exempt. Non-exempt employees must be paid overtime for any extra hours worked. Some non-exempt employees include:
- Blue collar workers
- Registered nurses
- First responders (e.g., police officers, firefighters, etc.)
- Homecare and respite workers
Many hospital employees are non-exempt, as they earn less than $455 per week and are paid hourly wages.
Are hospital and care employers entitled to overtime pay?
The FLSA covers any hospitals, residential care establishments, and institutions involved in the caring of the sick or elderly. This means employees who work over 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime. However, in addition to the traditional 40-hour workweek used by other employers, health care establishments can also use the “8 and 80” overtime system.
What is the “8 and 80” overtime system?
The “8 and 80” system is a 14-consecutive day workweek where employers pay the overtime rate for any hours worked over eight hours a day and any hours worked over 80 hours per 14-day period. The employer must have an agreement with the employee regarding this system before the employee starts work.
Am I entitled to overtime pay?
In order to receive overtime pay from the courts, you will need to prove that your employer was doing one or more of the following things:
- Misclassifying you as an exempt employee when you are non-exempt
- Failing to pay employees for hours that are “suffered or permitted” by the employer. This refers to employee work hours that the employer/employee did not request but that the employer was aware of (i.e., working off the clock)
- Failing to pay for work done during automatic meal breaks or “sleep periods.”
- Failing to reach agreement with employee to use “8 and 80” system before employee begins work
Any of the above behaviors could make your employer liable for overtime pay and other damages.
Phil Gibbons, Charlotte, NC employee rights lawyer, can help hospital & special care employees recover unpaid overtime.
If your employer is denying you overtime pay or has not paid you for overtime earned in the past, you may be entitled to file a claim. If you successfully prove your case, your employer may owe you damages to cover:
- Back Pay: You can recover overtime back pay for up to two years before you filed your lawsuit.
- Liquidated Damages: Workers may recover liquidated damages in the amount of the back pay owed unless the employer can prove that the overtime violation was based on reasonable belief.
- Court costs and attorney fees
The overtime misclassification attorneys at Gibbons Leis, PLLC know how to help hospital workers who have not received the correct amount of overtime pay. Our legal team will evaluate your case and determine if you have a legitimate case against your employer. During the evaluation, we will determine your exemption status and look for any overtime violations your employer committed.
If our attorneys find that you have a legitimate case against your employer, we will start collecting evidence and preparing to present your case in court. If you did not receive the overtime you legally earned, the court will award you damages.
Hospital and care employees are hardworking, dedicated people who help make life better for the sick and disabled. These employees deserve to get paid for their services. If you are a hospital worker who has not received your overtime pay, contact overtime attorney Phil Gibbons at Gibbons Leis, PLLC for a free consultation: 704-612-0038.