Federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets wage and hour standards, including standards for overtime wages. Unfortunately, many employers do not comply with these laws, leaving employees underpaid for their time.
If you are one of the thousands of workers around the country who has been cheated out of overtime pay, you have rights. Cheating employees out of overtime pay is against the law, and you may be entitled to compensation for the wages owed to you plus punitive damages. Time limits apply so you must take action quickly. The wage and hour attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Overtime is any work performed in excess of 40 hours during one seven day period. The FLSA requires employers to pay one and a half times your normal hourly rate for all overtime hours worked.
For example, if your normal hourly wage is $7.50 and you work a 46 hour week, you are entitled to $7.50 per hour for the first 40 hours ($300) and $11.25 per hour for the six hours of overtime ($67.50), totaling $367.50.
Many employees who are paid a salary or piece rate are also entitled to overtime pay. Learn more about calculating overtime pay by reading our Calculating Overtime page.
Common Ways that Companies Cheat Employees Out of Overtime Pay
Few employers are bold enough to simply refuse to pay the overtime wages they owe you. Instead, most look for ways to convince you that they do not owe you overtime pay, or use complicated pay schedules to obscure how they are cheating you. Common methods of cheating workers out of overtime pay include:
- Claiming that you did not get advance permission to work overtime
- Misclassifying you as an employee who is exempt from overtime, such as a manager
- Misclassifying you as independent contractor
- Carrying overtime hours over into the next work week
- Averaging hours for a two week pay period
- Coercing you to work off the clock
- Requiring you to perform tasks before clocking in or after clocking out such as opening, preparation, clean up, or closing activities
- Automatically deducting time for lunch and breaks
- Refusing to pay for breaks which are less than 30 minutes or combining the time taken in short breaks to total 30 minutes or more
- Refusing to pay for restrictive on-call time or travel time
- Falsifying time sheets
Learn more about misclassifying employees as exempt by reading our Overtime Exemptions page.