Unpaid Wages For Overtime Lawsuits And Loans Information
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When wages like overtime go unpaid, it may be necessary to go to court or litigation to get them paid which is a lengthy process and a lawsuit loan may be needed. Here the cases are usually really clear: the employee has worked overtime hours and was not paid for this. It can lead to an easy litigation case or court case if the employer doesn’t simply fix the issue when it is brought their attention. If they are not fixing it of their own, this can lead to more expenses for them through a court or litigation case. Getting such a case off of the ground is not all that difficult and a lawyer can help.
What Is Considered Unpaid Wages In Regards To Overtime?
Unpaid wages in general as unpaid worked hours or wages that have yet to be paid. When it comes to overtime, it’s very simply unpaid overtime. It can also be a bit more complex as there are different rates for overtime and if those are not met fully, the overtime can be considered unpaid.
What Is Overtime?
Overtime is defined as time worked over the regular scheduled time. Overtime can come into pay when a person works more than their normal daily shift, anything over 8 hours in one day for most full time employees. This can also be calculated based on a full work week, for example when a normal full time work week is 40 hours, any hour or partial hour over this time is considered overtime.
Overtime is also a term used to refer to the pay for this extra worked time which is normally time and half for each hour, or partial hour, of overtime worked. For example, when a worker does 40 hours at $10 per hour, their weekly pay before taxes and deductions should be $400. When an hour of overtime at time and a half, so $15, is added, their week’s pay before taxes and deduction should be $415.
Issues come up when that overtime pay is not given or incorrectly given to any employee having worked more than their usual, agreed-to number of hours in a day or a week. Each country or state can have their own laws about this, but in general, overtime is paid at a higher rate of pay than regular hours worked.
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How Can One Know They Are Owed Overtime?
Nowadays, most employers use electronic means of tracking hours worked and each employee can see their worked hours at the end of the week. This helps avoid clerical errors and the overlooking of overtime. These kinds of system have lowered the number of errors and the number of instances where overtime is not paid in companies that use reliable software or systems for this.
Other companies may use paper entries to track worked hours like a punch card or a manual entry form for employees. This means that an error can come at any time and cause overtime to be overlooked. This can usually be corrected fairly easily.
Reviewing either of these types of forms will give the employee a chance to get it corrected before payday. The employer may also review these to double check everything and make sure things are done correctly.
Of course, some employers use neither of these and are more likely to make errors and get their employees underpaid or unpaid on overtime hours. Each employee should, in cases like this, keep track of their hours to make sure they are bring paid properly and in the right amounts.
Unpaid Overtime Cases We Fund
There are plenty of cases possible here and a few of these are:
- Basic overtime that went unpaid
- Breaks and lunchtimes worked unpaid
- Regular unscheduled and unpaid worked hours
- Forced to come in on a day off unpaid
Are Some Employees Not Eligible For Overtime?
The easy answer is unfortunately yes. Usually, salaried employees are expected to balance things out by working less on days they can to balance out the overtime done on other days. Oftentimes, salaried employees do not clock in or out and need to estimate their hours worked to make sure they are not owed overtime at the end of the week. This is something that is a bit dangerous as some employers will take advantage of this and not fully want to balance things out for these employees.
It must be noted that this is something that may change from state to state and may not be legal everywhere, so if an employee feels they are being owed hours they worked as overtime in a salaried position, they can reach out to an employment lawyer and look into their situation deeper and make a decision to go for those unpaid wages or not after that.
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An Employer Owes Overtime, Now What?
In any case where an employee feels they have been cheated out of their overtime or are owed unpaid wages, starting with HR is always the way and then going with a lawyer may be needed to retrieve these unpaid wages. This can be done as it is discovered that there is a problem or after leaving employment with the defendant.
The Internal Request
The first thing to do is to request that they correct the issue internally. Starting by reviewing the employment contract is always a great idea. Then checking how many hours may have been missed in payment over the entire employment period is another great idea. Taking all of this to the human resources department is the best way to get started getting paid. Giving them a few days to respond is always polite as they will want to take a look at records and see if the number of hours adds up. There may be a process in place to fix this and they may want to get this done, but may not be able to do so immediately. It may have to wait for the next pay period or it may become a separate pay check to fix the issue. There are many ways to get this paid.
They may also refuse to pay or refuse to acknowledge the issue, at which point a lawyer should be consulted.
They Won’t Correct It Or Don’t Recognize Overtime
When a case is being brought to court or litigation, depending on what the employment contract demands, a plaintiff can do a case by themselves with a lawyer or start to get other employees in the company who may have seen the same issue to join in a class action lawsuit. This could be current employees and/or past employees. There is a high change that is a company cheated one employee out of their overtime pay, there may be quite a few more employees who have seen the same situation. Some of them may even be completely unaware of this which means that anyone seeing their current or past employer being brought to court in a class action suit for unpaid wages should check their own records to see if they are possibly owed money and they may want to join the class action lawsuit even if they were not particularly bothered by the missed wages.
A single lawsuit can be a great way to take care of things quickly, but a class action lawsuit may bring punitive damages on top of the unpaid wages being paid back and these damages may be greater is a pattern of abuse can be established. The more people involved on the plaintiff side, the more a pattern can be established.
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What Kind Of Settlement Can Be Expected?
If the case goes through the HR department, the settlement or payment in this case should be expected to cover all the unpaid or improperly paid hours. Basically the difference between what was owed and what was already paid. This check can be small or substantial and the payment schedule here may be spread out depending on company policy.
For those going to court, other costs can be added to the cost of the unpaid hours to make a more substantial amount in settlement. If punitive damages are added, those can make for a nice sum in settlement. In the case of a class action lawsuit, the total of the settlement can become quite large, but the individual check for each member of the plaintiff group can seem smaller. There can also be punitive damages at the class action lawsuit and these can become larger when it’s discovered and proven that the company had a pattern of not paying overtime correctly. This can make the check grow quite a bit for each member.
The average amount in settlement for a case of unpaid overtime is usually around a total of $4,000 with cases bringing in as little as $50 and some bringing in a lot more.
Getting a loan here is something that can be done if the money is really needed to cover bills and lawsuit costs. A loan here should be calculated based on the hours that are owed and not so much on the punitive damages. The hours to be paid is something fairly simple to calculate and the legal funding company should be able to establish a loan amount based on that. The total here is going to influence the amount of the loan as that kind of loan is usually around 10% of the total amount expected in settlement.
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Getting The Money Owed Is The Goal
Whether through the HR department, litigation, or a lawsuit, the goal here is to get the lost or missed wages paid back. There may be punitive damages, but it should not be expected. Getting that little more there is always nice though. Getting a good case in place with all the documentation needed is the best way to get the most out of a settlement and getting that settlement to grow can be done if a pattern of abuse can be established. This can get complicated and once proven, the court may also include legal fees in the settlement. Needing money borrowed against this settlement during the process is completely normal and is something that can be done with the help of a lawyer and a lawsuit loan company or a legal funding company.
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