I recently stopped working for my employer and received severance pay. Can I still make an unpaid wage claim for overtime I never received?

Yes. Even though you signed a contract to accept severance pay after you ceased working for your employer, you still may be able to file an unpaid wage claim if your employer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

While severance pay is usually given to those who are laid off or retired, an employer may also extend the pay to those who were fired or voluntarily left the company. Packages usually consist of payment for years of service, unused vacation or sick time, health benefits and 401k payments, but vary from company to company.

One mistake that many employees make is assuming that their employer's unfair wage practices should go unnoticed or unreprimanded just because the company gave a decent severance package. This is especially true if the severance package is offered as a way to cover up the fact that the employee did not receive overtime or fair wages when they should have.

Unpaid overtime can accumulate a number of ways, but most often happens when employees are misclassified as exempt from overtime under the FLSA, or not paid for mandatory work times that happen to be off the clock or outside of the office - tasks like attendance to company meetings or travel time between work sites.

If you are no longer with your company and are receiving severance pay, but still feel you should be compensated for unpaid overtime, contact the Texas overtime lawyers at Kennedy Hodges for more information. In addition to providing you with a free copy of their book, the Ten Biggest Mistakes that Can Hurt Your Wage and Overtime Claim, they will also sit down with you - for free - to evaluate your case and discuss your options. Protect yourself by calling them today at 888.449.2068 or by filling out the online form to schedule your free case evaluation.
Galvin B. Kennedy
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Galvin Kennedy is a founding partner of Kennedy Hodges. He focuses his practice to overtime and wage claims.