Some landscaping companies try to avoid overtime pay by paying their workers a piece rate for removing landscaping, but fail to pay their workers overtime when they exceed for 40 hours in a week. For example, one landscaping company was required to pay $52,240 in back wages and penalties following a determination by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that company violated provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) buy using such a piece rate pay system. An employer may determine earnings on a piece rate basis, a salary basis, by commission, or by some other basis. The overtime pay due, however, must be calculated on the basis of the average hourly rate derived from such earnings. Another mistake some landscaping companies make is they pay their employees from two different companies for the same work, or paying their employees from one company for work performed during the workweek, and from a different company for work performed on the weekend. Other landscaping companies ask their employees to “volunteer” to work on weekends and then try claim they are independent contractors. If your employer is engaging in this conduct, you should contact a wage and hour attorney to see what overtime or other wages you may be owed.

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