Overtime pay, retaliation

For 22 years, I've worked at the local, family owned newspaper, and until last Friday, was the paper's Special Sections Coordinator/Real estate editor. For the first 20 years, I was salaried, working in the advertising dept. and building up to my current position. Jan. 01,06 I was made hourly but still working in the advertising dept., but took on two new duties (ad scheduling and paper layout). The Adv. Manager said I could not be paid overtime, but could take off 'comp' time. This went on until 2 weeks ago when our head accountant found out I wasn't being paid overtime. HR then arranged for me to receive three past weeks (about 14 hours worth) of overtime pay. Then I learned three other employees in my department were paid overtime. On Friday, 6/15, 6 employees -- including myself and the three employees I referred to above -- were 'reassigned' in a 'companywide' restructuring. Five of the employees will be learning jobs I already know, and I have been assigned to nights and an entry-level position.
To make matters whorse, I filed for bankrupcy last year and need every cent I can get. I'm out of bankruptcy now and doing OK, but I'm 52 and jobs in my field are getting less and less everyday.
What can I do, if anything?

1 answer  |  asked Jun 17, 2007 1:41 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
It sounds like you have a claim for unpaid overtime

It appears that you may have been entitled to overtime since January of 2006 and perhaps prior to that time. You can go to the department of labor and file a complaint, hire an attorney to pursue a claim and perhaps pursue a claim yourself, in small claims court, to recover the unpaid overtime. If you would like to figure out how much you are owed and how you can obtain it, we offer an initial consultation for $200 to answer these questions.

You may also have a claim for retaliatory demotion/reassignment, if you can show that you engaged in protected conduct and the demotion/reassignment resulted from that. For example, if you had complained to the head accountant about the unpaid overtime or objected to only three weeks of unpaid overtime, and the company decided to demote you as a result, then you may have a retaliation claim. We could discuss a retaliation claim at a consultation as well.

If you would like to get together, please call Jenny at 330.665.5445, ext. 0.

Best regards,

Neil Klingshirn

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Jun 20, 2007 11:28 AM [EST]

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