Thursday, July 8, 2010

Are Contract Attorneys Entitled to OT?

Everyone who has worked as a contract attorney knows the difference between 'straight time' and 'OT.'  Lately, law firms have been opting for straight time, meaning that you are paid the same rate--no matter how many hours you slave away.  Contract attorneys seem to accept this because they are professionals and not permitted OT under the law, or so they thought.  Well, if you feel differently, you may want to contact Moshe Kopliwitz.  He begs to differ with the 'straight pay' method of payment:

Lawyer Sues Firm for Failing to Pay Overtime 
A lawyer is suing his former New York-based employer, alleging that the law firm violated federal labor laws by not paying time-and-a-half for overtime.

In a complaint filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan, the lawyer, Moshe Koplowitz, said that the firm he did temporary work for, Labaton Sucharow, did not pay him at a higher rate when he worked more than 40 hours in a week.

Mr. Koplowitz worked only a few months at the firm because he was hired as a temporary employee, and he sometimes worked more than 50 hours a week, said D. Maimon Kirschenbaum, the lawyer who drafted the complaint.

Mr. Kirschenbaum said that federal law required employees paid by the hour to receive one-and-a-half times their regular pay for every hour over 40 hours worked in a week.

The suit seeks to become a class action, and Mr. Kirschenbaum said he believed that Labaton Sucharow was not the only firm that underpaid its employees.

“People are afraid to bring these kinds of cases because they don’t want to be blacklisted,” Mr. Kirschenbaum said. “I would hope people use this as a wake-up call to get the money that’s clearly owed to them.”

A spokeswoman for Labaton Sucharow said late Wednesday afternoon that the firm had yet to receive a copy of the complaint and needed to review it before commenting.
Go Moshe!  I hope you win.  And contact D. Maimon Kirschenbaum if you want to join the lawsuit.  There is power in numbers.


  1. If this succeeds, it will be the end of doc review in America. India will reign supreme.

  2. Not if the ABA had any balls and prevented outsourcing. Doc review is already on life support to begin with and the current "experienced" crop of doc reviewers are probably going to be the last to ever do it.

  3. As a midlaw partner I can't attest to the fact that our firm is constantly contacted by legal outsourcing firms from India. I am staunchly against using them but their rates are remarkably low and I am afraid the other partners will soon approve outsourcing doc review in lieu of hiring contract attorneys at higher rates. GULC grads, which as a group seem to have cornered the doc review/contract attorney circuit should be worried.

    On the topic of OT, if the position requires a law degree, the employer is exempt from paying OT.

  4. "Not if the ABA had any balls..."

    You and I both know the problem begins right there...

  5. Lawyers of America unite!

    It's time to change the labor laws. We're not in the 1930s anymore. They're out of date and were made for an economy that had a tiny percentage of professionals and white-collar positions compared to today. "Professionals" of today are not any less exploited than non-professionals.

    Get fucking real, people.

  6. "On the topic of OT, if the position requires a law degree, the employer is exempt from paying OT."

    If the position requires a law degree, how can it be outsourced to another country to be done people who do not have an American law degree?

  7. The ABA is a pinko, leftist organization. What else would you expect from such a group?



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