Don’t Get Cheated Out of Overtime Pay
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employers pay workers overtime pay, usually time and a half, for hours worked over 40 in any given week. Not all employees are paid overtime, however, and there are many ways employers get around this requirement, often at the expense of their workers. If you feel like you aren’t being compensated correctly or if your employer has denied you overtime pay, it’s important to contact an experienced overtime lawyer immediately. Below are some ways an overtime lawyer can help you, according to our friends at the Disparti Law Group.
The Lowdown on the Law
Most Americans are aware that, generally speaking, employers must pay their workers at least minimum wage. But what most Americans don’t know is that employers aren’t always required to pay overtime. In fact, some jobs and some companies are exempt from laws regulating overtime pay. There are a lot of exceptions and exemptions — and even with those caveats in mind, federal law provides plenty of coverage for employees who do not receive overtime pay when they should. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dictates the basics of the employer-employee relationship: including wages, hours worked, and workplace safety regulations. For example, if an employee works more than 40 hours per week on average (regardless of which days), they may be entitled to overtime pay in accordance with FLSA regulations.
Proof You Worked Unpaid Overtime
Before you decide to take your employer to court for back pay, it’s important that you have a solid proof that you actually worked overtime and weren’t paid for it. To do so, keep track of time: document every minute you spend working by writing down what time you came in and what time you left. That way, if there is a discrepancy between your hours worked and your actual paycheck (which often happens with salaried workers who aren’t clocking in), your case will be even stronger. Make sure to also note any additional tasks or responsibilities when writing these notes down (the more detailed, the better). You can also seek out allies at work: coworkers may be able to provide similar evidence supporting their cases as well. For example, one person may witness another coworker being told to stay late or come in early without getting compensated. Together, both people would make a compelling argument in court against the company.
Can I Sue My Employer For Not Paying Me Overtime?
The answer to whether you can sue your employer for unpaid overtime is a little complicated. Basically, if you are classified as an exempt employee by your employer (which means that you don’t get overtime pay under federal law), then your boss is allowed to dock your pay or even fire you if you refuse to work extra hours. If, however, your job is non-exempt and doesn’t fit one of several narrow exemptions (such as salaried white collar employees or outside salespeople), then it’s illegal for an employer to retaliate against workers who want their legally owed wages — in other words, no matter what happens at work, employers can’t force employees to forfeit legally protected wages. If they do so anyway, they run afoul of federal wage laws.
Contact an overtime lawyer for help today with your case.