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A Detailed Guide to How You Should Be Paid If You Work Overtime

by Olufisayo
How You Should Be Paid If You Work Overtime

As per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it is essential for non-exempt employees to be compensated for all hours they have worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Yet, some companies still fail to pay overtime for the additional hours worked beyond the baseline 40 hours. Additionally, a lot of employees fail to calculate overtime payments properly, which can lead to significant underpayment.

The sad truth is many companies avoid paying overtime in a bid to make more profits. Thus, all the employees and employers should be aware of their obligations and rights under the law.

Employees may be entitled to receive twice the amount of back wages that they have been improperly denied. Furthermore, employees are able to bring actions on their co-workers’ behalf in the court.

Working Overtime

Millions of Americans work overtime. Under the FLSA, employees who work overtime need to be paid 1.5 times their usual hourly wages as compensation for their extended work period. Most employees are aware of the higher wage for overtime hours. However, many of them do not understand their legal rights.

Employers may use the ignorance of employees to their benefit. They may do so by failing to compensate them sufficiently for their overtime or not informing their employees about their rights.

If You are a Salaried Employee

Unlike employees who are paid per hour, salaried employees receive an annual sum with an expectation that they would work forty hours every week for most of the year. This is why, for salaried employees, overtime is a tricky subject.

A salaried employee is any individual who makes more than $455 each week. If the employee is paid a salary but performs the duties of the exempt employee, they are not entitled to get overtime pay. Otherwise, they are entitled to receive it. Some examples of exempt employee duties are:

  •         Supervisory work
  •         Work that needs an advanced degree
  •         Work that needs the employee to make business decisions that are high-level

If You Work Overtime By Force

According to the FLSA, employers possess the right to force workers to work overtime. An employee can work for as many hours because there is no limit on the number of hours a worker can legally work. The only requirement is that they should be paid fairly for working overtime.

Common Types of Employment Who Usually Lose Overtime Payments

The employers who usually avoid paying overtime wages properly include the following industries. However, the industries that avoid paying overtime are not limited only to the ones mentioned below.

  •         Restaurant workers
  •         Warehouse workers
  •         Construction workers
  •         Union employees
  •         Bookkeepers/ Junior accountants
  •         Network/computer maintenance and repair workers
  •         IT help desk workers
  •         Fireman
  •         Police officers
  •         Public sector employees
  •         Medical support staff
  •         Hospital employees

Employers usually refrain from paying the required sum of overtime although they make some kind of payment for the overtime hours. Employers usually make frequent errors in determining overtime payment involving, but not limited to –

  •         Not including all the payments in calculating the rate of pay for overtime
  •         Not containing time spent on donning and doffing or preparing for work
  •         Averaging the hours over a 2-week period
  •         Not paying overtime for every hour worked over forty per week

It’s important for both employers and employees to keep these laws in mind.

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