Unpaid Overtime for Cable TV and Satellite Installers in Texas
Companies in the cable and satellite television industry, particularly subcontractors of the network providers, often fail to pay cable installers and technicians overtime pay. This sometimes occurs unintentionally, but it is often due to a company’s attempt to get around the laws established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and pay its employees as little as possible.
If you suspect that your employer is failing to pay overtime, you have options. Contact the Texas unpaid overtime lawyers of Leichter Law Firm PC at (956) 205-0884 to learn more about your options.
Piece Rate Violations
Piece Rate Violations occur when employers don’t make an effort to track the amount of time worked by their employees. Piece rate generally means an employee will be paid according to each unit of work completed, regardless of time spent working on the project. This is usually legal, but if an employee actively works more than 40 hours during the week, then they still must be compensated for their overtime. You may have a claim for unpaid overtime wages if you worked as a cable installer or technician within the last three years, and experienced any of the following pay practices:
- You did not receive additional overtime pay when you worked more than 40 hours in a week.
- Your employer failed to accurately record your working hours, or did not ask you to do so.
- Your employer refused to let you record your hours yourself.
- Your employer did not record any extra time between jobs, though you were required to be available or you were doing a work-related activity such as driving, paperwork, or making telephone calls.
- You did receive overtime wages, but not all that should’ve been due to you.
Overtime work can include time to travel between jobs, overtime spent working at the shop, downtime between jobs, and any work the employee took home. Most employers who pay on a piece rate fail to track all time worked because they pay their employees on a piece rate, instead of by the hour. When this happens, employees are allowed to recover unpaid overtime with good faith estimates of hours worked.
Independent Contractor Violations
A common violation that affects workers in the cable and satellite television industry is being falsely classified as an independent contractor or “1099 employee.” Employers will do this as a money-saving attempt as contract employees are not protected by overtime or minimum wage laws. In situations where employers do this, an employee can lose their required minimum wages, eligibility for overtime pay, certain retirement and health benefits, FICA taxes, compensation when injured, and unemployment benefits. Simply being a contract worker does not mean that you are not entitled to overtime pay. If you have agreed to be a contract worker or 1099 employee, you may still be entitled to overtime pay if, as a matter of the economic realities, you are economically dependent on your employer and not truly in business for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
If these FAQs do not adequately answer any of your questions or concerns, please contact Leichter Law Firm PC through our website or call us at (956) 205-0884. A member of our team will happily answer any questions you may have and meet with you for a free consultation.
What aspects of the job qualify for overtime pay?
According to the Federal Labor Standards Act, you are entitled to be paid for any time spent completing a task. Deceitful employers may try to convince their employees that they do not deserve be paid for the time spent reviewing installs for the day, responding to emails, filing paperwork, or driving to the installation site. This is simply not true. If your employer is refusing to pay you for time spent completing all aspects of your job, you should speak to a qualified employment attorney who can review the details surrounding your situation.
How can I prove that my employer was aware of the overtime work I performed?
Your employer is responsible for tracking and maintaining detailed records of all employee pay hours. The law holds employers accountable for their employee’s actions, and the employers may be held liable for unpaid overtime, even if it was not expressly “approved.” Simply put, employers are expected to be aware of the hours an employee is working. Employers have the opportunity and duty to clarify what work has been performed with the employee. However, if an employee intentionally withholds or conceals their overtime work, the employer may not be accountable for paid overtime.
My employer said that my work balances out to 80 hours between 2 weeks, so I’m not entitled to overtime pay. Is that true?
Overtime should be calculated on a weekly basis. This means that you are entitled to overtime pay for any work performed after 40 hours in a week. Some employers try to convince their employees that the 40 hours per week applies to a two-week pay cycle, but this is false. If you worked 50 hours in one week and 30 hours in the next week, you should be paid time-and-a-half for the 10 hours you worked above the 40 hour limit in the first week.
If I signed a contract that states that I will not sue the company, can I still file a claim for unpaid overtime wages?
Yes, you can still file a claim if you signed a waiver stating you would not file suit against your employer. Minimum and overtime wages are federally protected, and your employer cannot use any means to prevent you from earning a fair hourly rate. Ask one of our knowledgeable overtime-pay attorneys to review your contract so that they can answer any questions you may have. They will be able to assess the rights you have moving forward, even if the contract involved severance pay.
Texas Cable TV and Installation Overtime Attorneys
If you are a cable or satellite television installer who has worked more than 40 hours per week and not received additional compensation for overtime, then you need to speak with a qualified overtime attorney today. Our Texas overtime pay attorneys with Leichter Law Firm PC can tell you whether you are entitled to compensation for unpaid overtime, additional money for liquidated damages, attorney’s fees, and costs. Call us at (956) 205-0884 as soon as possible.