Gas Station Workers and Unpaid Overtime

When gas station workers are not paid overtime, are they eligible to file a claim for back wages and damages? Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), certain employees are required by federal law to meet minimum wage requires and to provide covered nonexempt employees with overtime pay for hours they work over a 40 hour workweek. Are gas station employees covered by the FLSA when it comes to overtime pay? According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), a gas station owner has been found in violation of the minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements of the FLSA and has paid $84,000 in back wages and damages. News of the gas station owner’s FLSA violations occurred after the Buffalo, New York area’s office of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division conducted an investigation.

Is this case similar to other situations in New York and New Jersey involving gas station employees? To better understand the overtime pay rights of gas station employees, we would like to take a closer look at the recent case upstate.

Upstate New York Gas Station Owner Cited for Unpaid Overtime Violations

In this particular case, there were three gas stations owned by the gas station owner cited in the news release. DOL investigators determined that the owner violated FLSA requirements in several different ways, including the following overtime violations:

  • Failing to pay some of the employees overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek;
  • Failing to pay one employee overtime pay when that employee worked more than 70 hours in a workweek; and
  • Failing to combine hours worked by one employee from two different locations (of the same business) when determining whether that employee was due overtime pay.

What is Overtime Pay, and When Should an Employee Receive Overtime Pay?

What is overtime pay, and when does an employee receive it? Under the FLSA, overtime pay must be at a rate of not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. The FLSA does not impose any limit on the total number of hours an employee can work as long as the employee is 16 years of age or older. The FLSA does require, however, that covered employees be paid at the overtime rate for hours worked beyond the 40 hour work week. It is important to note, at the same time, that employers are not required to pay overtime rates based simply on the type of day or time of day that an employee works. To be clear, overtime pay is not required for employees who work on weekends, holidays, or regular days of rest unless those working hours are beyond a 40 hour work week.

Given that the upstate New York gas station owner was cited for failing to pay overtime to an employee whose combined hours totaled more than 40 hours in a workweek, the case makes clear that employers must also combine hours in a business—even if the employee is working in two separate locations of the business—when determining whether overtime pay is due.

When are employees covered by the FLSA? A fact sheet from the DOL clarifies that gas station employees may be covered based either on the annual dollar volume of sales of the business, or based on the employee’s engagement in activities of interstate commerce. A New Jersey wage violation attorney can say more.

Seeking Advice from a New Jersey Wage Violation Lawyer

If you believe you may have been denied overtime wages that are due to you, a wage violation lawyer in New Jersey can help with your case. At Sattiraju & Tharney, LLP, we can first help you to determine whether you are covered by the FLSA. If you are covered and were denied overtime wages after working more than 40 hours per week, our dedicated advocates can assist you in the process of filing a claim and seeking back pay and damages. Contact us today to learn more about our services.