Stevenson Marino LLP is deeply aware of the specific nuanced wage and hour issues affecting employers and employees.
For employers – pre-litigation:
The Firm has developed innovative strategies that have proven consistently effective in preventing and limiting exposure for our clients. It is far better to engage us before litigation to audit your practices and determine what, if any, liability exists. Thereafter, we can develop Defensive Employment Strategies to ensure that you are complying with the law and can help you defend a future wage and hour claim. Employers far too often believe that paying people properly means that they will be victorious in a wage and hour lawsuit. The fact is that employers need to go the extra mile to cross all “t”s and dot all “i”s in order successfully defend a wage and hour lawsuit. We have successfully limited employers’ liability by implementing the right policies and procedures that not only ensure the proper wage and hour compliance – but employ strategies to document same.
Wage and Hour Audits
Justin R. Marino has been engaged throughout his career to audit various employer’s practices. Whether it is the highest-end restaurants in Manhattan and the Hamptons to mom and pop business, there is typically always room for improvement. Notably, retaining our Firm to audit your practices will provide you with our legal opinion – which can support available good faith defenses in litigation. This can be significant, as an employer’s ability to prove a good faith basis for their employment practices can eliminate an award of 100% liquidated damages under New York State and the Fair Labor Standards Act. We conduct wage and hour audits, both targeted and all-encompassing, for all types and sizes of employers. We conduct audits in every industry, including hospitality, construction, manufacturing, financial services, energy, health care, restaurant, insurance, transportation, retail, telecommunications, and technology.
Justin R. Marino represents clients in investigations by the United States Department of Labor and state labor departments on an ongoing basis. Due to substantial experience working with both federal and state labor officials, our attorneys are well positioned to counsel clients on what to expect during an investigation and which approach will be most effective to obtain a favorable resolution.
For employers – post-litigation:
More often than not, our attorneys are brought in after litigation has commenced. Fortunately, Justin R. Marino has significant experience litigating wage and hour disputes and has litigated dozens and dozens of cases during his career. We have successfully litigated cases across the wage-and-hour spectrum, from claims for alleged misclassification of exempt employees, off-the-clock work, and meal and rest period violations, to travel and commuting time violations. Justin R. Marino has represented employers across numerous industries, including finance, banking, restaurant, retail, health care, trucking, manufacturing, and construction. We have practical knowledge of the nuanced difficulties affecting each industry and the resulting difficulties in complying with wage and hour issues. Our attorneys can provide the unique and strategic assistance tailored to each employer/industry.
At Stevenson Marino LLP, we fight to ensure that our clients’ are paid – in full – for all hours due to them. The simple fact is that no private agreement, immigration status, or “understanding” permits an employer to pay an employee anything less than what the law requires. The firm is aggressive in ensuring that our clients receive all amounts due to them, whether it is minimum wage, gap time, overtime, or prevailing wages. We also will seek to have the employer pay for liquidated damages, interest, statutory penalties, and attorneys’ fees.
We represent employees with any type of compensation irregularity. We vigorously prosecute employers and their owners, individually, for failing to pay minimum wage, gap time, overtime, tips, commissions, prevailing wages, and other kinds of compensation.
The firm also focuses on the misclassification of individuals as exempt. Many employees and employers incorrectly believe that the payment of a “salary” means that the employee is not entitled to overtime for hours worked over forty in a workweek. The fact is that most individuals that are exempt from overtime must not only receive a salary, but also must fall into a particular exemption (e.g., executive exemption, administrative exemption, professional exemption, etc). These exemptions require that employees engage in certain duties and have certain responsibilities (e.g., the executive exemption requires either (1) an employee have the ability to hire or fire or (2) make recommendations for hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status that is given particular weight). Thus, if you are a so-called “manager” of a business, are classified under the “executive exemption,” and have zero or inconsequential involvement in the foregoing two factors, you may be entitled to overtime.
Your immigration status does not affect your ability to prosecute your current or former employer for wage and hour violations. Indeed, every individual working in the United States, regardless of immigration status, must be paid in a manner consistent with the federal, state, and local laws. Thus, as an undocumented worker that is classified as non-exempt (i.e., hourly employee), you are entitled to overtime and you should receive wage statements. If your employer fails to do either, you may have a claim.
Additionally, the firm can prosecute wage and hour claims that arose up to six (6) years ago if you worked for the employer in New York. Thus, if your prior employer failed to compensate you in a manner that is consistent with applicable laws within the last six (6) years in New York, we may be able to seek a recovery on your behalf.
Lastly, often employees falsely believe they must have detailed time records showing the specific time, date, and amount of hours they were not paid. This is incorrect, as the law requires the employer to maintain contemporaneous time records reflecting the amount of time all non-exempt employees worked. Thus, you may be able to prosecute claims against your current and/or former employer without detailed time records to support your claims.
To find out whether you are/were misclassified or to see if you otherwise have a cognizable claim, please call our office for a free consultation.