In October of 2014, the firm entered an overtime wage dispute on behalf of a client, calling for fair payment of individuals employed by investment giant the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Goldman Sachs is accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by denying employees the federally mandated time-and-a-half rate of overtime pay for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
Working Together to Defend America’s Workers
The firm teamed up with the law firm of Outten and Golden to defend employees nationwide who have been paid less than time and a half for overtime work. With Outten and Golden, the firm filed a collective action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
FLSA Mandates Time and a Half Rate of Pay
The overtime rate requirement, mandated by the FLSA, is intended to incentivize employers to send employees home at reasonable times and to protect individuals’ rights to spend time with their families. The FLSA requires employers to pay a rate of time and a half for time worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek by non-exempt employees.
At Goldman Sachs, however, plaintiffs were denied this right and were, instead, paid half the standard rate of pay for overtime hours during the relevant period of time. This rate was justified by placing these workers under the flexible work week (FWW) umbrella, which does allow employers to pay the ½ rate for overtime hours, when a number of other requirements are also met. However, Goldman Sachs failed to properly adopt the FWW method, misclassified its workers, and underpaid them for their overtime work.