Does Overtime Have To Be Approved?
Hello, everybody! My name is Alan Crone, CEO of The Crone Law Firm, and this is our next legal bulletin in our series of Ask Alan! the Legal Bulletin. We have got a great question today. It’s another overtime question. It is, does overtime have to be approved?
In a word, yes it does. If you are a worker and you’re working more than 40 hours a week, then you need to make sure that you’re authorized to work more than 40 hours a week, and that the employer knows that you’re working more than 40 hours a week and that you’re authorized to do so.
Conversely, if you own a company or you’re in charge of payroll, you want to make sure you know whether or not your workers are actually working more than 40 hours a week and whether they’re entitled to overtime. There is absolutely nothing wrong with an employer asking its workforce to get approval to work overtime in any given work week on any given day.
Now, once they are given the approval, then they have to be paid time and a half if they are entitled to overtime. And the other thing that can happen in these overtime approval cases is, if the employer knew or should have known that the employee was entitled overtime. It is called suffer or permit to work.
If the employer knew, or should have known, that the employee is working more than 40 hours a week than a supervisor sees them working, then that could be a problem. And if your payroll system is not set up to pay time and a half for every hour over 40, or maybe you’re paying them just a flat rate for the week, that can also be a problem.
And so if you’ve got a lot of workers who are working more than 40 hours in a week and they’re not getting paid time and a half, that may be perfectly legitimate, they may not be entitled to overtime, but if you haven’t looked at it in a while, you should. And if you’re a worker and you’re working more than 40 hours in a given work week routinely, and you’re not paid time and a half for overtime, then you want to look into that and see whether or not you’re entitled to overtime compensation for those hours that you’re working.
Wage and hour laws are very complex. Not everyone is entitled to overtime because of the overtime statute and the rules and regulations, but there certainly is no prohibition. And I think it’s good practice for employers to clearly articulate when workers are authorized to work more than 40 hours and to ask for prospective authorization.
Now, you can’t use a blanket statement like, “we don’t pay overtime,” to encourage people to work more than 40 hours to volunteer, but to not be paid. You need to be very clear that if someone works more than 40 hours a week, they need to be paid for that time, if they’re entitled to it. So at the end of the day, overtime hours may be authorized prospectively.
Thank you very much. I hope you’ve enjoyed this legal bulletin. My name is Alan Crone and I’m going to go get some Justice.
Ask Alan! The Legal Video Bulletin Series: Does Overtime Have To Be Approved?
Thank you for reading our newest edition in the Ask Alan! Legal Video Bulletin Series, that answers the question, does overtime have to be approved? For more Legal Video Bulletins, click right here to view the whole series on YouTube. If you have more questions about overtime, click here to read our overtime blog! For video options, watch below!