Are Cell Tower Workers Due Overtime Pay?

Cellular providers are racing to build advanced cellphone networks, according to the Wall Street Journal.  The subcontractors who build, upgrade and maintain these cell phone towers are working their employees around the clock in an attempt to keep up with the demands of these cell phone carriers.  Because of the race to build these cell phone towers, crews for the companies building, reworking and maintaining them for the phone carriers are regularly working 12- to 16-hour days, or more.

While nothing prevents the cell tower construction companies from requiring their workers to work more than forty hours per week, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that the workers be paid one-and-a-half times their “regular rate” for every hour worked in excess of forty, as long as the worker is not exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements.  Because they are performing manual work, most cell tower employees will not be exempt, and thus should be paid overtime under the FLSA.  Some of the positions that are likely required to be paid overtime are the following:

  • Cell tower technicians;
  • Cell tower riggers;
  • Cell tower journeyman;
  • Cell tower apprentices;
  • Cell tower climbers;
  • Cell tower top hands; and
  • Cell tower installers.

As discussed in more detail here, such companies often attempt to avoid paying time-and-a-half for overtime by claiming that their employees are exempt, or by paying their employees “straight time” (i.e. the same hourly rate, regardless of how many hours are worked), or by claiming that salaried employees are not entitled to overtime pay.  Anyone who regularly works or has within the past three years worked more than 40 hours per week should speak with an attorney to determine whether they are entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA.

The FLSA entitles workers that have not been paid overtime to recover up to three years of unpaid overtime, as well as liquidated damages in an equal amount, as well as attorney’s fees.  This is true even if the employee quit or was terminated.  If you believe you may be entitled to unpaid overtime, call Josh Borsellino for a free evaluation of your unpaid overtime matter.

About the author: While my office is located in Fort Worth, I am admitted to practice in every state and federal court in Texas, and I am able to handle unpaid overtime cases in Dallas, Fort Worth, Burleson, Denton, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Houston, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, and across Texas.  For a free evaluation of your legal matter, call me at 817.908.9861 or fill out the contact form.