Employers often try to avoid overtime payments to their employees. Unfortunately, many workers do not realize they deserve extra wages. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees deserve at least one and one-half times their regular pay for every hour worked over 40 in a workweek. The FLSA defines a workweek as seven consecutive 24-hour periods.
However, sometimes employers try to pass off their employees as exempt or otherwise violate the FLSA. If you wonder if your employee owes you overtime pay, see below for some common violations.
Using a job title to avoid overtime
It is the worker’s responsibilities and not the title that determines overtime pay. Your employer might attempt to label you as a manager, but that does not mean you fall under an FLSA exemption. Review the FLSA exemption fact sheet to understand the duties and salaries necessary for an overtime exemption.
Using salaried employees to avoid overtime
Just because you earn a salary does not mean you are exempt from overtime payments. If you make less than $684 per week, it does not matter if you receive salaried wages.
Requiring prior approval to avoid overtime
Overtime pay does not require the approval of your employer. If you work more than 40 hours in a workweek, your employer owes you overtime pay whether you gave prior warning or not.
Averaging out workweeks to avoid overtime
It does not matter if you worked less than 40 hours in a previous workweek to receive overtime pay. Your employer cannot average out the time to avoid overtime payments. Any week you worked over 40 hours requires overtime pay by law.
Employers and employees often do not realize the extent of overtime laws. Maliciously or not, if you lose out on overtime pay, your employer has a legal obligation to compensate you.