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Airline Overtime Lawsuits: Wage & Hour Laws

Airline Overtime Lawsuits: Wage & Hour Laws

Commonly asked overtime pay law questions about airlines:

What Workers are Employed by Airlines?

The largest groups employed by airlines include aircraft mechanics and service technicians; airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers; cargo and freight agents; reservation ticket agents and travel clerks; and flight attendants.

What is the Salary Range for Airline Employees?

According to the United States Department of Labor, salary estimates for occupations commonly found in airlines are as follows:

Occupation Median Hourly Wage Mean Hourly Wage Median Annual Wage Mean Annual Wage
Aircraft mechanics and service technicians $33.31 $33.14 $69,290 $68,920
Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers $130,060 $153,560
Cargo and freight agents $21.64 $21.03 $45,000 $43,750
Reservation ticket agents and travel clerks $21.03 $20.33 $43,740 $42,300
Flight attendants $48,500 $51,620

How Many People Are Employed Nationally by Airlines?

According to the United States Department of Labor, employment estimate and mean wage estimates for some common airline occupations are as follows:

Occupation Employment
Aircraft mechanics and service technicians 34,940
Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers 73,040
Cargo and freight agents 11,240
Reservation ticket agents and travel clerks 81,290
Flight attendants 113,390
Total employment 485,900

Where Are Most Airline Workers Employed?

According to the United States Department of Labor, states with the highest employment level in this industry are as follows:

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What are the Major Airlines?

There are a number of major airlines in the United States, which are some of the largest employers in the air transportation industry. These include:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin America

What are the Laws for Airline Employee Overtime Pay?

Under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), many airline employees are non-exempt and therefore entitled to overtime pay. This excludes some upper management and corporate positions.

If an employee is non-exempt under the FLSA, the law requires that they are paid overtime wages of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for every hour past 40 in one week.

Employers often deny or unlawfully refuse to pay overtime by misclassifying the positions of the workers, claiming that they are exempt when, in reality, they are not. Airlines may also require their employees to report to work early but not “punch the clock” until later or strike hours off of time cards, or they may refuse to pay employees for work done before the shift starts and after they punch out for the day. These are violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and can give rise to an overtime pay lawsuit.

Is an Airline Employee Entitled to Overtime Pay?

Airline employees are often required to work double shifts and work additional time before and after their scheduled shift. As a result, many airline employees end up working more than 40 hours per week, and are therefore entitled to overtime pay.

Some upper management or corporate employees may not be entitled to overtime pay, as they could fall under the FLSA’s “professional” or “administrative” exemptions.

Whether or not an airline employee is entitled to overtime wages is determine based on job description, job duties, rate of pay, and number of hours worked.

An experienced overtime pay attorney will be able to analyze your case in the context of the FLSA and your state’s laws to determine if you are due overtime wages from the airline.

Does an Airline Have to Pay Overtime Wages to its Employees?

Yes, in many cases an airline is required to pay overtime wages to employees that work more than 40 hours in one week. This excludes employees who are considered exempt under the FLSA.

Exemption is not determined by your job title, but by your job duties, wages, and hours worked.

If you believe the airline you work for owes you overtime pay, it is best to consult an attorney who has experience with the FLSA and state overtime wage laws.

To determine whether you are eligible for filing a wage claim, contact our experienced Airline Overtime Pay Lawyers at (855) 754-2795 for a Free Consultation to discuss your case or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review Form on this page.  We will discuss your situation and determine if you have a claim. If you are owed unpaid wages, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise, which means there are never any legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.

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