The No. 1 reason people sue their employer is to get overtime pay for hours they were required to work in excess of 40 hours per week.
According to the Federal Judicial Center, 7,764 wage and hour lawsuits were filed in federal courts from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. That doesn’t include actions filed in state courts. Workers have brought successful actions against many major corporations – from Big Lots to GlaxoSmithKline to Verizon Wireless – alleging that they did not receive overtime pay they were due. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay non-exempt employees overtime pay (at a minimum of one and one-half times regular pay rates) after 40 hours of work in a workweek. Sometimes state labor laws and union contracts stipulate terms that are even more favorable for employees. Some employees within certain classes are exempt from the overtime requirement, although there are specific limits within the general exemptions. If you are a commissioned salesman, farm worker, motor carrier worker, seasonal employee, computer tech, first responder or an executive or administrator, you may not be entitled to overtime, so you should check with your Wage and Hour Division or an experienced employment law attorney.