Every worker in New York deserves fair compensation for the work they do. In fact, there are numerous state and federal laws in place to protect workers and their wages. However, despite these laws, there are plenty of cases involving employees who are unpaid or underpaid.
Often, these cases involve unpaid overtime. If you work more than 40 hours per week, you should know if you should be receiving wages. Below, we explain who is eligible for overtime, when employers must pay overtime and what options you have if you believe you are owed overtime.
Exempt vs. non-exempt
To be eligible for overtime, a worker must a non-exempt employee; exempt employees are exempt from overtime provisions stated in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Exempt employees are noted in the FLSA and include workers in white collar positions who receive a salary.
If you are non-exempt, though, then you are likely eligible for overtime pay.
Calculating working hours
Employers must pay eligible employees at least one and one-half times their regular hourly rate for any hours worked over 40 (or 44 for residential employees in New York) in one payroll week.
Overtime disputes can arise when an employer and employee disagree on the number of hours a person has worked in a week. As such, it is crucial for employees to keep careful records of the hours they work. It is also important to understand whether certain hours are working hours or not, including on-call time, breaks and travel time.
Therefore, careful records will be essential in determining whether a person should be receiving overtime pay. Even if an employee has a time card or uses company time tracking software, maintaining independent records can help ensure all hours worked are accounted for.
If you should be getting overtime but are not
If you believe that your employer is not properly compensating you for overtime hours, you may need to take legal action to recover any unpaid wages. An attorney can help you understand your options and what steps you must take to purse the compensation you may deserve under the law.