A recent study conducted by Bisnar Chase has revealed that employees in Pennsylvania are owed an estimated $6.2 billion dollars in unpaid overtime wages. This amount is said to be enough to cover the tuition fees of more than 1 million students at a public university each year. The study also highlighted a decline in labor standards and how this could be responsible for what is being termed ‘The Great Resignation’, where workers abandon their jobs due to poor working conditions and unfair compensation practices.
According to managing partner and trial lawyer Brian Chase of Bisnar Chase, the concept of ‘free time’ has drastically changed over the past fifty years. “Free time is now something that is expected to be given up to one’s employer. The recent trend of working from home due to the pandemic has exacerbated situation, as unpaid overtime has become a widespread and accepted norm.”
How Misclassification of Workers Is Costing Pennsylvanians Their Overtime Pay
In the past, overtime pay was a staple for middle-class workers. Nowadays, many employees in Pennsylvania are working over 40 hours a week without receiving any overtime compensation. Laws protect their right to receive overtime pay, yet employers often misclassify their employees into exempt positions that do not qualify for overtime. This is creating a large pool of free labor and leading to increased profits, declining real wages, and a widening income gap. Let’s take an in-depth look at how this misclassification of workers is costing Pennsylvanians their overtime pay.
The Definition of Exempt Employees
Exempt employees are those who are paid on salary instead of hourly wages, meaning they earn the same amount regardless of how many hours they work in a week. These individuals are also exempt from certain wage and hour laws that apply to non-exempt employees such as Overtime Payment Statutes (which require employers to pay non-exempt employees one-and-a-half times their regular rate for any hours worked over 40 in a single workweek). Employers often misclassify nonexempt workers as exempt because they don’t want to be liable for paying them overtime. This can have serious economic repercussions for those affected by it.
Declining Real Wages and Widening Income Gap
When employers are able to exploit free labor through employee misclassification, it leads to increased profits but decreased real wages—especially among lower-wage earners who end up having less money after deductions like taxes or insurance premiums than they would if they were paid correctly according to the law. Additionally, due to the fact that people with higher salaries tend to be more likely to get classified as exempt positions than those making minimum wage or just above it, this creates an even wider income gap between wealthy and poor households in Pennsylvania.
Protecting Your Right To Get Paid What You Deserve
If you feel like your employer is violating your rights by misclassifying you as an exempt employee when you should actually be entitled to receive overtime pay according to the law, then you should contact an experienced attorney immediately so that they can help you protect your rights and make sure that you get compensated fairly for all the hard work you put in every day. Additionally, if you believe that your employer has violated any other employment laws like minimum wage requirements or workplace safety standards then make sure that you contact a lawyer right away so that they can help ensure justice is served and make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.
What Pennsylvanians Would Do With Lump Sum Payments
According to the Bisnar Chase study, almost half of households who are owed money would use their payments for essential bills such as rent or mortgage payments and utilities. But what would the other half do with their funds? Let’s explore how these potential payouts could benefit Pennsylvanians.
How Lump Sum Payments Could Help Pennsylvanians
The remaining half of households who are owed money would most likely use their funds for necessary purchases such as food or clothing items, or invest it back into their local economy by spending it at local businesses like restaurants or shops. This injection of cash into the local economy could provide a much-needed boost to the area’s businesses, allowing them to expand and hire more staff members.
These payments could also help to stimulate economic growth within the state by providing individuals with additional disposable income which can then be spent at stores or businesses, allowing them to expand and hire more staff members. This influx of new money could have a positive ripple effect throughout the entire state, leading to increased consumer spending and creating jobs in both rural and urban areas.
Finally, this extra disposable income could give Pennsylvanians some much-needed financial breathing room during an already difficult time. With fewer worries about finances, those who receive these payments will be able to focus on taking care of themselves and their families in other ways—including healthcare, education and other important aspects of life that often get overlooked due to financial constraints.
Pennsylvania Workers Deserve Better
This study paints a bleak picture for Pennsylvania workers who are currently not being compensated fairly for their hard work and long hours spent at work. It goes without saying that everyone deserves fair compensation for their efforts but unfortunately this isn’t always the case when labor standards are widely ignored and neglected. The results of this report should serve as a reminder of the importance of making sure all employees receive fair payment for overtime worked while also highlighting pressure points within our state economy that need addressing as soon as possible in order to ensure prosperity now and into the future.
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