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Court rules in favor of employee in wage claim case

Some New York employees may know that they are generally entitled to extra pay for overtime hours worked. According to a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, an employee who spent some time performing management duties may go to trial for overtime and retaliation claims. The woman was the chief chef for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who oversaw food preparation and service there.

According to the lawsuit, she only spent about 10 percent of her time on supervisory duties. The suit also claims that she worked 50 hours a week, but she was not paid for those hours nor were they recorded. The woman was fired in April 2015, and she claims that she was terminated an hour after making a complaint to the CEO of the hospital. Her lawsuit claimed that her FLSA rights were violated because the hospital retaliated against her for making a wage complaint.

The hospital denied the claim and asked for a summary judgment from a federal magistrate. In a ruling, the request for summary judgement was denied, and a district court judge agreed because the hospital could not prove that the woman was an exempt manager. To prove the woman was a manager for FLSA purposes in this case, the hospital would need to show that management duties were her most important.

Workers who wish to pursue overtime claims may want to talk with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to use employee time cards or other time clock records to prove that a worker did work more than 40 hours a week without getting paid for it. It may also be possible to use a worker's job description to show that he or she was not a manager exempt from overtime pay.

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