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Current Employment Investigations:

Carlson Lynch continuously monitors industries that commonly violate federal and state wage and hour laws. A number of our current investigations into these potentially unlawful practices are listed below. If you believe that you may have experienced an unlawful employment practice, please contact us to discuss your potential claim.

Retail Managers and Assistant Managers

  • Managers and assistant managers in the retail industries are often classified as exempt “executives.” However, such employees often spend the vast majority of their time doing the same work as regular, hourly employees (e.g., stocking shelves, operating cash registers, etc.). Under such circumstances, these employees may be entitled to overtime compensation.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims on behalf of managers and assistant managers in various retail industries who have been improperly designated as “executives.” If you are a retail manager or assistant manager and have been designated as “exempt” but nevertheless perform many of the same functions as other hourly employees, we would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you work as a retail manager or assistant manager and are concerned that you are being improperly classified as “exempt,” we want to hear from you.

Financial Services Industry Employees

  • Employees in the financial services industry are often misclassified as exempt “administrators.” However, oftentimes the work these employees perform is actually part of the “production” of the employer’s business (e.g., making loans, etc.), and not part of the administration of its operations. In these circumstances, the “administrative exemption” does not apply.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims on behalf of financial service industry employees who have been improperly designated as “administratively exempt.” If you are a financial services industry employee and have been designated as “exempt,” we would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you work in the financial services industry and are concerned that you are being improperly classified as “exempt,” we want to hear from you.

Independent Contractors

  • Recently, there has been a significant surge in lawsuits which challenge an organization’s classification of its workers as “independent contractors.” If the “independent contractor” designation is inappropriate and the individual is actually an employee, such employee may be entitled to overtime, as well as other repayments.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims on behalf of individuals who have been improperly designated as “independent contractors.” If you have been designated as an “independent contractor,” we would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you are a being classified as an “independent contractor” and have a question about such designation, we want to hear from you.

Tipped Employees

  • Employers are permitted to take a “tip credit” against the minimum wage requirement for “tipped employees.” However, in order to take this credit, there are certain, specific requirements which the employer must meet. For instance, employees must be given express notice of the tipped credit and any “pooling” of tips must be limited to those employees who regularly receive tips.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims against employers who fail to properly compensate “tipped employees” or improperly implement a “tip-pooling” arrangement. If you are a “tipped employee” with concerns about how your tips are being handled, we would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you are a tipped employee with a question about how you are being paid, we want to hear from you.

Exotic Dancers

  • Exotic Dancers are often improperly classified as “independent contractors” and forced to pay their dance club money in order to work. Many courts have held that these types of arrangements are improper, that exotic dancers are actually employees, and must not be charged a fee in order to work.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims against dance clubs that classify exotic dancers as “independent contractors,” and force them to pay money in order to work. If you work as an exotic dancer and are forced to pay your employer in order to work, we would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you are an exotic dancer and believe you may have been improperly classified as an “independent contractor,” we want to hear from you.

Miscalculation of Overtime

  • Employees covered by the FLSA are entitled to one and one-half times their “regular rate of pay” for all hours they work over 40 in a work week. Although all remuneration should be included when determining “regular rate of pay,” employers sometimes fail to include necessary portions of an employees’ total compensation, such as certain bonuses, when calculating overtime.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims against employers who fail to properly calculate the overtime compensation due to their employees. If you believe you may have been denied overtime as a result of a miscalculation, we would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you believe you may have been denied overtime, we want to hear from you.

Pennsylvania Contract Attorneys

  • Contract Attorneys, hired for a specific project directly by a law firm or through a staffing agency, are often paid on an hourly basis, without overtime. While under federal law, attorneys need not be paid on a salary basis in order to be exempt as “professionals,” there is no such exception to the salary basis requirement under some state laws, including Pennsylvania.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims on behalf of Pennsylvania attorneys who are paid on an hourly basis without overtime. If you work in Pennsylvania as an hourly paid attorney, you may be entitled to unpaid overtime compensation. We would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you believe you may have been denied overtime while working as an hourly paid attorney in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you.

Concessionaire Employees

  • Employees who work for a seasonal amusement or recreational establishment may be exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA, but only if all the requirements for the exemption are met. The “amusement or recreational establishment” exemption applies only to employees of an amusement or recreational establishment that: 1) does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year; or 2) has average receipts in any six months of such year that were not more than one third of its receipts for the other six months.
  • Carlson Lynch is currently challenging the position of many sports and entertainment facility vendors that they qualify for the “amusement or recreational establishment” exemption. Many of these employers do not own, and are not affiliated with, the sports or entertainment facility or activity itself, but rather only have a contractual right to sell concessions at such facilities. Examples of these types of employers include stadium and arena vendors, including both food and souvenir sales.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims against such concessionaire companies and vendors who do not pay overtime to their employees and claim the recreational establishment exemption. If you work for such a concessionaire or vendor, you may be entitled to unpaid overtime compensation. We would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you believe you may have been denied overtime while working for a concessionaire or stadium vendor, we want to hear from you.

Marcellus Shale Gas Industry Workers

  • With the recent expansion of shale gas drilling in Western Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, there has been an influx of new employers into these regions, hiring local workers to perform all of the functions involved with shale gas drilling and fracturing.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims against such shale gas drilling industry employees who do not pay overtime to their employees or who are committing other pay infractions, including the failure to pay for all hours worked or improperly classifying employees as “exempt” from overtime. If you work in the shale gas drilling industry and are being subject to such a wage violation, you may be entitled to unpaid overtime compensation. We would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you believe you may have been denied overtime in the shale gas drilling industry, we want to hear from you.

Computer Professionals in Pennsylvania

  • Under federal law, “computer professionals” are exempt from having to be paid overtime compensation. To qualify for the federal computer professional exemption, the following must be met: (1) The employee must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week or, if compensated on an hourly basis, at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour; (2) The employee must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field; and (3) The employee’s primary duty must consist of: (a) The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications; (b) The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications; (c) The design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or (d) A combination of the above duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills. However, in Pennsylvania, there is no such computer professional exemption and, accordingly, computer professionals must be paid overtime, unless they qualify under some other Pennsylvania exemption.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims against Pennsylvania employers who employ computer professionals and fail to pay them overtime. If you work in Pennsylvania and are a computer professional, you may be entitled to unpaid overtime compensation. We would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you believe you may have been denied overtime as a computer professional, we want to hear from you.

Fluctuating Work Week in Pennsylvania

  • The standard way of calculating overtime pay is well known – you take your regular hourly rate and multiply it by 1 ½. So, an hourly rate of $10 becomes an overtime rate of $15, regardless of whether you work 1 hour of overtime or 30 hours of overtime. However, many employers use the “fluctuating work week method” to pay employees. This is also known as the “variable workweek” or “half-time method.” The practical effect of this law is that you end up making less per hour the more you work. Under the “fluctuating workweek” method, the non-exempt employee is paid a fixed salary, regardless of how many hours he or she works in a week. The time worked can vary above or below 40 hours per week, but the salary itself does not change. The concept is that by being paid a fixed amount for all hours worked, the employee is considered to have been paid straight time for all hours worked over 40. Therefore, the only additional overtime compensation the employee is owed is ½ (rather than 1 ½) the regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 during a workweek. The fluctuating workweek method benefits the employer by allowing it to lower the regular rate, and thereby pay less overtime compensation, with every additional hour actually worked in any given week. The fluctuating work week method may sound unfair, but it is legal under federal law, as long as it is implemented correctly. However, a Pennsylvania federal court recently held that fluctuating workweek method of calculating overtime compensation violates the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims against Pennsylvania employers who use the fluctuating workweek method. If you work in Pennsylvania and are compensated under the fluctuating work week method, you may be entitled to unpaid overtime compensation. We would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have – at no cost or obligation to you.
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you believe your employer is using the fluctuating workweek method to calculate your pay, we want to hear from you.

Unpaid Interns

  • Students and recent graduates often use internships as a way to gain work experience and build their resume. However, an unpaid internship is supposed to be a learning experience to help prepare you for the workplace, NOT an opportunity for employers to replace paid workers with free labor.
  • Attorneys at Carlson Lynch are currently investigating claims against employers who use unpaid interns. If you are an unpaid intern or have held an unpaid internship within the last three years, you may be entitled to unpaid wages. We would welcome the opportunity to review your claim and to answer any questions you may have, at no cost or obligation to you.
  • How do I know if I should have been paid at my unpaid internship? Federal employment law requires that unpaid interns: (1) Not replace a paid worker by having an unpaid intern doing the same job. (Did it seem like you and your fellow interns replaced someone who had just been let go?); (2) Receive training similar to that they would receive through a vocational or academic program. (Did your “training” consistently involve running errands and picking up lunch?); (3) Perform work designed to enrich the unpaid intern. (Were you consistently asked to answer phones, make copies, sort mail, etc.?); (4) Provide no immediate benefit to the employer, and actually impede the employer’s operations on occasion. (Was your internship structured around a classroom or academic experience, or the employer’s actual operations?)
  • Protect your rights and take action. If you believe your employer is taking advantage of you through your unpaid internship, we want to hear from you.