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Should I be receiving overtime?

It's not always easy for people to know if they should be receiving more money than they are getting at work. This is particularly true if you work irregular hours, are unsure of your status as a worker or if the timekeeping records at your job are unreliable.

However, you may be eligible for overtime you are not receiving. In order to get a better idea of whether this may be the case, you should be able to answer a few crucial questions.

  1. What type of worker are you? Generally speaking, only employees are eligible for overtime. If you are a freelancer or independent contractor, you probably should not expect to receive overtime. 
  2. Are you covered? If you are an employee, you must determine if you are an exempt or nonexempt employee. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, only nonexempt employees must receive overtime. Understand, too, that while most enterprises are covered by the FLSA, not all are. 
  3. How many hours do you work in a workweek? To receive overtime, eligible employees must work more than 40 hours in a workweek. It does not matter if the hours are on weekends, weekdays, nights or holidays. A workweek is seven consecutive days, equaling 168 hours. It does not need to start on a Monday or end on a Friday. Typically, the employer will determine when the workweek starts.

If your answers indicate that you should be receiving overtime but you are not, it is crucial that you address the matter as soon as possible to minimize potential losses through continued unpaid overtime.

You can discuss the matter with your employer, but unfortunately, he or she may not give you accurate information or guidance. As such, talking to an attorney can also be an option.

You deserve fair and full compensation for your work. If you are not receiving this, it is up to you to take action.

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