The lawyers at Thierman Buck have been practicing employment law and fighting for employee rights since 1995. Our team is passionate about protecting the rights of employees who have been treated unfairly in the workplace, and it’s our mission to be the voice for those that are not being fairly compensated or are subject to harassment or discrimination at work.

Businessweek Wage Wars

In 2007, Mark was featured as the cover story of a BusinessWeek magazine article entitled “Wage Wars.”

Your experience in the workplace matters. How you are treated at work affects you and those most important to you, and if conditions are unfavorable, that can have negative effects on many aspects of your life. This is what drives the team at Thierman Buck to fight for you. We have the resources, experience and most importantly a team of seasoned professionals that have recovered close to a billion dollars in unpaid wages for employees across the nation. You are protected by numerous, complex federal and state employment laws and regulations, which can make it difficult to understand your rights as an employee. As a result, you may be tolerating practices in the workplace that are just plain unlawful. That’s where we come in.

From large scale class actions against some of the biggest corporate employers in the country to individual cases of discrimination and harassment, we are the team to advocate for what is due to you in accordance with the law.

There are many different scenarios regarding unfairness in the workplace and the following are some of the core employment law focus areas within our Firm. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. We are here to help.

Core Focus Areas

Wage & Hour

Over the years, Thierman Buck has successfully recovered close to a billion dollars in unpaid wages on behalf of employees across the country as a result of employer wage and hour violations. Employer wage and hour violations vary greatly from “off-the-clock” to “misclassification” but one consistent remains–an employer has not correctly compensated an employee for all the time that they have worked under current employment laws. The following are some of the most common unlawful employer practices:

Off-the-clock violations occur when an employer forces hourly paid non-exempt employees to perform work “off-the-clock” without compensation. Typically, these claims arise when an employer maintains a strict no-overtime policy but the employee workload simply does not allow for all the work to get completed. Another example would be an employer expecting employees to check in or out equipment, to go through lengthy security procedures before or after a shift, or to perform other job related duties wrongfully off-the-clock.

The ordinary result is that the employer requires (or expects) the employee to work without recording his or her hours. Off-the-clock violations break federal and state laws and are often brought as class actions. If you or anyone you know has to perform work before clocking-into the timekeeping system such as putting on a uniform; booting up a computer and/or reading emails; or retrieve radios, keys, or a cash bank; then you may be entitled to recover your unpaid wages for the time you spent performing those activities.

Misclassification arises when an employer tries to classify an employee as “exempt” from overtime when, in actuality, the employee should be paid overtime for all their overtime hours worked.

The United States Department of Labor has created easy-to-understand info-graphics which debunk common misunderstandings that an employee is exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay because the employer has misclassified him or her as an independent contractor. View these info-graphics by clicking below.

Facts on Misclassification (pdf)

Myths of Misclassification (webpage)

Frequently, employers will pay an employee a base salary and expect that employee to work however many hours are required to perform the job.  If you are paid a salary and work overtime hours either under state and/or federal law, you may want to inquire as to whether or not you are correctly classified.  If not, you could be entitled to recover unpaid overtime wages under the misclassification violation.  The following is a list of common exemptions from overtime:

  • Executive Exemption: To meet this exemption an employee must (1) be compensated on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $455/week, (2) have a primary duty of managing the enterprise where the employee is employed or of a customarily recognized department or subdivision of that company, (3) customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more other employees; and (4) have the authority to hire or fire other employees (or have significant sway in the recommendation of such employment decisions).  If you don’t meet each and every one of these minimum criteria, you may be misclassified and owed overtime.
  • Administrative Exemption:  To meet this exemption an employee must (1) be compensated on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $455/week, (2) have a primary duty of performing office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers, and (3) exercise discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.  If you don’t meet each and every one of these minimum criteria, you may be misclassified and owed overtime.
  • Professional Exemption: To meet this exemption an employee must (1) be compensated on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $455/week, (2) have a primary duty of performing work that requires (a)  knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by lots of schooling (i.e., Doctors, Lawyers) or (b) invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor (i.e., writer, graphic artist).  If you don’t meet each and every one of these minimum criteria, you may be misclassified and owed overtime.
  • Computer Exemption: To meet this exemption an employee must (1) be compensated on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $455/week or on an hourly basis of not less than $27.63/hour, (2) have a primary duty of (a) application of systems of analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system function specifications, (b) design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications; (c) design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems, or (d) a combination of these duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.  If you don’t meet each and every one of these minimum criteria, you may be misclassified and owed overtime.
  • Outside Sales Exemption: To meet this exemption an employee must (1) have a primary duty of (a) making sales (as that term is defined under the law) or (b) obtaining orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which consideration will be paid by the client or the customer and (2) be customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business in performing the primary duty.

Fraud Against The Government

Referred to as “Qui Tam” or “False Claims” actions, these cases are brought against employers on behalf of groups of employees and the government for failing to accurately abide by the terms of a government contract or grant.

Retaliation / Whistleblower

Our firm frequently represents employees who have been the victims of retaliation for asserting their rights in the workplace.  Many state and federal statutes provide anti-retaliation and whistleblower protections. If you have been the victim of an adverse employment action because you complained to your employer about a wage, health and safety, or any other employment problem, you may have a valid cause of action for retaliation and should contact us for a free evaluation.

Discrimination / Harassment

Various state and federal laws protect employees from discrimination and harassment at the behest of their employer and its agents. Thierman Buck is experienced in representing employees in a variety of employment discrimination and harassment claims such as those involving race, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, and age, among others.

If you feel that you have been treated differently at work for any reason because of a protected characteristic (such as your race or sex), contact us for a free consultation.