Overtime Wage Theft: Common Industries Involved

Last updated on: June 11, 2015


All Texas employees have the right to receive fair compensation for their work performed, which often includes overtime pay.  The Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) is a federal law that governs the payment of minimum wage and overtime pay across the nation.  This law requires that eligible employees be paid time and one half for all hours worked over 40 a week, defined as a seven day period.

Despite the FLSA’s clear mandates, many employers fail to pay employees their legally-required overtime pay.  Sometimes business owners do so by accident, as they are ignorant to the law or wrongly label the employee as an independent contractor.  Other employers may purposefully withhold overtime wages in an effort to save money and cut corners.  Employers commonly commit wage theft by doing the following:

  • Withholding overtime
  • Paying employees under the minimum wage
  • Withholding tips
  • Making employees work off-the-clock

Employers in nearly every industry violate overtime wage laws, but some industries are particularly prone to the problem.  Some industries most often involved in overtime wage theft include:

Restaurants and Hotels

Restaurants and hotels are considered among the biggest wage and hour violators.  Each year, hundreds of overtime wage theft lawsuits are filed in this industry.  Employers allege that they are not paid for overtime, work off the clock, and often find hours removed from their time cards.  Several fast food restaurants, including mega giant McDonald’s, have been sued in recent years for failure to pay overtime.  

Health Care

Overtime violations are extremely common in the healthcare industry that so often requires employees work long hours.  The Department of Labor has compiled a fact sheet concerning unpaid overtime and the health care profession, detailing all instances that are commonly violated.

Cleaning Contractors and Janitorial Services

Janitors, maids, and housekeepers are the frequent victims of wage and hour violations.  While minimum wage violations are perhaps the most common in this industry, overtime wage violations also commonly occur.  Several major lawsuits have been filed on behalf of cleaning industry employees who were not paid appropriately.  A common mistake in this industry is employers classifying cleaning staff as independent contractors.  There are state specific and federal law requirements for an independent contractor, and many cleaning staff, including janitors, are improperly classified.  Improperly classified employees that have not received overtime pay may be entitled to back pay for all of their owed overtime wages, in addition to damages.  

Know the Laws and Protect Your Wages

It is critical that all employees understand some basic hour and wage laws so that they can protect their right to a fair wage.  Any employee who suspects they are not being paid appropriately, including payment of overtime wages, should consult with a licensed attorney early on to protect their legal rights.  

Zinda Law Group:  Experienced Employment Law Attorneys    

Employees in all industries across Texas are being deprived of their hard earned overtime pay.  If you are a Texas employee that believes you are not receiving the compensation to which you are entitled, the Texas Employment Law Attorneys at Zinda Law Group are here to help.  Our skilled employment law attorneys will strive diligently to see that you obtain the overtime pay you fairly earned.  We offer a free consultation to new clients and have office locations in Austin and across Texas.  Do not delay in seeking legal assistance as your right to file an unpaid wage claim is time sensitive.  Call Zinda Law Group toll free at 800-863-5312 to start us fighting for your full recovery.