For many people, the opportunity to work overtime is a welcome opportunity to earn extra income. For others, overtime offers no benefit and simply means extra work and less time with family or for themselves. In most situations, any work over 40 hours per week requires time-and-a-half compensation. Not all employees are paid the overtime they have earned.
Some of the common ways that people are shortchanged on overtime include:
Misclassification — Certain categories of employees, such as executives, do not have to be paid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers frequently miscategorize employees as exempt in order to avoid paying overtime.
Failing to calculate overtime on a weekly basis — Overtime must be paid on a weekly basis,
i.e., if employees work more than 40 hours in a week, they must be paid overtime. Employers sometime average hours over a bi-weekly pay period to avoid paying overtime. For example, you may work 30 hours in one week and 50 in the next, but your employer simply averages it as 40 hours for each week rather than paying you for 10 hours of overtime.
Being forced to work during meal/lunch breaks — If your employer asks you to perform any work-related tasks during an unpaid meal break, you should be paid for that time.
Being forced to do off-the-clock work — Employers often expect workers to engage in preparatory work, like logging in systems, changing clothes, or attending meetings, etc., before a shift or to do work-related things afterwards. Employees need to be paid for all of the time they work.
Failing to include for all wages (e.g., bonuses, shift differentials) when calculating overtime — The calculation of overtime needs to account for all compensation a worker receives. Employers often fail to include
additional payments, like bonuses, commissions, shift differentials, etc., that will increase the overtime rate.
At Preston & Brar LLC, our attorneys are skilled at analyzing overtime situations and identifying when workers have been shortchanged. If you have any concerns about overtime which you were not paid for, we can help you effectively pursue the full overtime pay your work deserves under the law. With more than 25 years of combined experience, our attorneys are able to help workers secure the pay they are owed for overtime work.