Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning workers (HVAC) are frequently dispatched out to different sites to fix broken systems or service the machines that keep homes and businesses at the proper temperatures. Since the right climate is imperative to the livelihood of many residences and companies, it is not uncommon for HVAC workers to work long hours and put in overtime each week.
As technicians, they are covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the HVAC workers are entitled to overtime pay as well as the federal minimum wage currently set at $7.25. Overtime should be paid at one and a half times the normal hourly rate for hours worked over 40 in one week.
But unfortunately, some employers try to cut corners by failing to pay their HVAC employees for hours when they should be entitled to compensation.
As Houston fair wage lawyers who are familiar with this line of work and the FLSA guidelines overseeing it, we have helped numerous clients that have not been paid appropriately for the work that they have put in.
Most commonly, companies try to get out of paying their employees for the following:
- The time it takes the HVAC worker to travel to and from the site where the maintenance work needs to be performed
- The time needed to gather supplies and order materials related to servicing the heating, ventilation, and/or air conditioning units
- The time needed to clean the company vehicle
- The time spent at company-mandated meetings
- The time spent waiting for clients
- The time spent at training
- Work that was performed before actual clock in or after clock out
- Time spent completing paperwork outside of the office
- Work that was performed over a lunch break
The Fair Labor Standards Act was established to protect the rights of workers, and HVAC employees are covered under this Act. There are few stipulations that would allow an employer to deem the employee exempt under FLSA, and therefore exempt from overtime. Factors include the amount of money the employee is paid and his or her specific job duties (as opposed to their job "title"). In most circumstances, HVAC employees are not exempt from the FLSA and overtime, which is why it is a good idea to consult an attorney if you are feel that you are not receiving the compensation to which you feel you are entitled.
If you are an HVAC employee who is facing unpaid overtime, contact the Texas fair overtime attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, LLP for your free copy of The Ten Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage and Overtime Claim by calling 888.449.2068. Or fill out our online form to schedule your free case evaluation where an attorney will sit down with you, review your claim, and provide you with the best solution to protect your paycheck.