Minnesota attorney Aaron Hall explains how to collect unpaid overtime wages in Minnesota.
Minnesota employees who are owed overtime wages have rights under Minnesota law to collect those wages from the employer. There are two typical circumstances where an employee is owed overtime wages.
One is where the employee is misclassified as salaried and as an exempt worker. In other words, they’re told by the employer you’re not going to get overtime wages even though you work over 40 hours in a week. But under Minnesota law, certain employees, for example paralegals and administrative staff, are generally permitted to be paid hourly and time and a half for overtime.
Another way employers illegally rip-off employees is by not letting them track their overtime. For example, they might tell them “you can count it next week and I’ll pay you those hours next week.” Sometimes that’s called “flex payments” or “pushing forward the hours”.
Sometimes employers simply won’t let the employees mark down on a time card that they were working overtime. That’s blatantly illegal.
When an employee has right to be paid overtime, the first step is a demand letter. That triggers rights under Minnesota law, and it gives the employee the potential right of getting attorneys’ fees for recovering the overtime wages. If it’s a really small amount, it may not make sense to go after and spend the money on legal fees. But when the employee is owed a significant amount, such as for years of overtime wages, a demand letter is a very good first step to try to get that employer to give up the money the employee is rightfully owed. If that doesn’t work, an employment attorney can bring a lawsuit. Our firm has done that a number of times against employers, to make sure employees are given what they are due.