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Former Hyatt Regency security guard sues for wage-hour issue

Federal law provides wage and hour protections for many workers in the United States. Minimum wage laws at the federal and state levels are important protections for working people in New York. Unfortunately, a story comes along from time-to-time that alleges that a business has tried to skirt the protections of state or federal law.

One problem that seems persistent is misclassification of workers. A job that is essentially an hourly job may be misclassified as a salaried position in these kinds of scenarios. Misclassification can cause a worker to feel obligated to put in lengthy days without getting overtime. In some cases, the pay rate can effectively fall below the minimum wage, significantly harming a hard working American.

A recent story out of Indiana involves a situation where a security guard for a Hyatt Regency location in that state was made a salaried worker. The company suggests that he was offered a supervisory position with the hotel.

The Fair Labor Standards Act allows companies to pay certain types of executives or administrative level employees through a salaried position. These types of workers are not guaranteed overtime under the FLSA.

However, the security guard says that once placed in a salaried position he worked so many hours that when calculating his pay rate, his income often did not even reach minimum wage.

He says that he had to work alone as a security guard for shifts that could be 12 hours or more for a fixed rate that did not add up to the federal minimum wage standard. He says that he could work as many as 72 hours in a given week with no overtime pay. He says that he is the victim of wage theft, according to Nuvo News.

He is suing his former employer in a case that he hopes will be recognized as a class-action wage and hour lawsuit against the hotel.

Source: Nuvo, “Former Hyatt security guards allege wage theft,” Fran Quigley, Oct. 8, 2013

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