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Worker sues two NYC dry cleaners for unpaid overtime

One of most commonly violated provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act is the requirement of paid overtime for work in excess of 40 hours per week. Some employers resort to misleading job titles in an attempt to make their employees exempt from the overtime requirements, while other employers simply ignore the law and refuse to pay overtime.

In a federal lawsuit based on the Fair Labor Standards Act that was recently filed in New York City, an employee of two dry clears in Upper Manhattan has alleged that he was denied paid overtime for work he performed during the period from November 2018 through September 2019. According to the allegations of the complaint, the plaintiff worked an estimated 72 hours per week during that period. His workday regularly began around 6:30 a.m. and ended at 6:30 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. His duties included greeting customers, answering phones, processing payment and sorting, and tagging and packaging clothing.

The worker alleged that he worked an estimated 72 hours per work but was paid only $1,000 in cash at the end of each week. As alleged by the employee, the employer ignored the 40 hour per week and 10 hours per day limits imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employee further alleged that the employers ignored his requests for paid overtime and that the managers said that his hours were "non-negotiable" and an "express condition of his continued employment."

The defendants have not yet served an answer to the complaint. If the plaintiff prevails, he will be paid all uncompensated overtime under the law, his expenses, and his attorneys' fees. The law on the subject of mandatory overtime is very clear, and employers should take care that they do not inadvertently violate the statute. Employees who have been negatively affected by violations of this law, on the other hand, should consider their legal options.

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