Business Consultants Obtain Unpaid Wages and Overtime Pay

Business Consultants Obtain Unpaid Wages and Overtime Pay

Lear Werts LLP represented a certified collective class of business consultants against International Profit Associates claiming unpaid overtime wages.

Summary of Lawsuit

IPA provided business consultant services to small-to-medium sized businesses. Senior business consultants were employed by IPA to perform those services nationwide. Each week business consultants traveled across the country to visit clients’ offices, where they evaluated the business, trained and educated business owners, and drafted and revised business policies. Although SBCs worked at the client’s location, they regularly worked away from the client’s office as well.

Plaintiff claimed that the company did not accurately record or keep the time that consultants actually worked, but instead only tracked the hours billed by the business consultants. The consultants were instructed to bill only for time spent at the client’s location. Defendants did not pay SBCs for the time that was not billed to the client, nor did they pay for various required meetings, travel time, or time that the SBCs spend waiting at the airport to receive their next assignment. Defendants expected senior business consultants to work at least 50 hours per week, but did not pay SBCs overtime, even though the Department of Labor determined in 2011 that SBCs were entitled to receive overtime compensation. State and federal law requires an employer to pay for all hours worked and to pay an overtime premium for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The lawsuit claimed that IPA’s failure to pay its SBCs for all hours worked and overtime violated these laws.

Todd Werts and Brad Lear of Lear Werts LLP are representing the business consultants in this collective action lawsuit for unpaid overtime and wages. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Workers Affected by this Case

This case involved Senior Business Consultants who filed a Consent to Join form in response to the notice that the Court ordered to be sent to all eligible employees of the defendants.

Employees Paid a Percentage of the Billable Hour are Often Misclassified as “Exempt” Under the FLSA

Importantly, the consultants allege they are paid, for the most part, as a percentage of the billable hours they work.  This is similar to the way some traveling auditors and accountants are paid.  As in the premium auditor case that our office has successfully handled, employees who are paid a percentage of the billable hour are not being paid on a “salary basis” or a “fee basis” as is required by the administrative exemption to the FLSA.  The FLSA’s exemptions are strictly construed and an employer’s failure to meet an element of a claimed exemption defeats that claim.  Accordingly, employees who are paid a percent of their billable hours, but are treated as “exempt employees” under the FLSA, should closely consider whether they have been misclassified.

For More Information

To learn more about this case, and whether you may be entitled to additional wages and overtime compensation, please visit our Contact Page and describe your situation in the contact request form. The completed form will be sent via email directly to the lawyers at Lear Werts LLP. One of the attorneys will contact you to schedule a free consultation about your situation. You may also call the firm’s toll-free number, 573-875-1991 and ask to be connected to Todd Werts.

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