Overtime pay is an issue many workers do not fully understand. However, most people understand that employees are protected under federal law from being taken advantage of or exploited by their employers. A significant law that protects the rights of works is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA sets forth a worker’s right to receive fair wages and have reasonable working hours.
The FLSA impacts most full-time workers who work more than 40 hours in one week. And while the FLSA has been effective for decades, it still causes confusion for both employers and their employees. In fact, overtime laws cause misunderstandings, including the following four matters:
Why did I not get paid overtime?
Many employees are surprised to learn that they are exempt from receiving overtime pay. Your title or position does not determine whether you are exempt or not. The amount you earn weekly is a determiner.
Professionals and executives are often considered to be exempt from receiving overtime pay, depending on how much they earn in a week. FLSA has narrowly defined exemptions, so it is critical for employers and employees to confer with an experienced overtime pay attorney to determine if the exemptions apply.
What if I am paid a salary?
As a general rule, employees receiving a salary are not entitled to overtime pay if their job duties are administrative, executive, managerial, and/or professional in nature.
The exemption does not apply because they are paid a salary, but because salaried employees typically make more than the amount set by the FLSA to receive overtime compensation. However, if a salaried employee makes less than the amount set by FLSA, the worker should be entitled to receive time-and-a-half for each hour he/she worked in excess of 40 hours that week.
What if I am paid bi-weekly or once monthly?
When overtime is calculated, it must be for the week that it was worked. The payment cycle used by the employer does not matter. A worker’s hours must be calculated on a per-week basis in determining whether overtime must be paid.
In other words, if you work less than 40 hours one week, but more than 40 hours the next week, the employer cannot average the weeks to avoid paying overtime for the 40+ hour work week.
How must overtime be paid?
An employer cannot offer other benefits in exchange for you working overtime. This means that your employer cannot give you vacation time or other time off, discounted services, or free products instead of compensating you with money for the overtime you worked.
If you are an employer, you should make an effort to prevent employees from working “off the clock.” Claims made by employees can result in your company being hit with a large judgment against it, as well as harsh penalties being imposed. The best means for protecting employers is to have a proven employment law firm draft written policies for employees’ work-time. You should also have your supervisors and managers attend training sessions focused on overtime work and what actions may be illegal.
Get Help from Experienced Employment Attorneys
The Crone Law Firm has a passion for employment law. Our attorneys have decades of education and experience. Having been on both sides of all types of workplace conflicts, we understand your situation whether you are employer or employee.
In our years in practice, we’ve developed specific techniques and philosophies that help us help you. One of our most effective methods is teamwork. Call us at 901-737-7740 to see how we can help. You can also contact us online by clicking here!