Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), most employees in the United States are entitled to additional compensation for any hours they work beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. This compensation is known as overtime pay.
Employers, in an attempt to save money, sometimes try to circumvent their legal obligation to pay overtime. They might attempt to pay employees at their regular pay rates, rather than the federally mandated rate of 1.5 times the employee’s usual wage for the overtime hours worked, or they might avoid paying employees altogether for additional hours. In any case where an employee does not receive the pay rate he or she is entitled to receive for working overtime hours, he or she may file an unpaid overtime claim to recover those wages.
Who Is Entitled To Overtime Pay?
The FLSA states that all employees, part time and full time, private sector and public sector, are entitled to receive overtime pay. There are a few notable exceptions. These exceptions include, but are not limited to:
- Salaried employees who perform executive, administrative, or professional duties and earn at least $100,000 annually, $455 of which must be in the form of salary or fee pay on a weekly basis;
- Farm employees;
- Movie theater employees;
- Certain commissioned retail and service employees; and
- Live-in domestic service workers.
How Do Employers Deny Employees Overtime Pay?
There are a few ways employers attempt to get around their legal duty to pay overtime compensation. These strategies include:
- Making employees continue to work after they have clocked out, before they clock in, or through their unpaid breaks;
- Classifying employees as independent contractors;
- Failing to pay workers for time spent preparing for work;
- Averaging hours worked over two-week pay periods; and
- Paying employees their regular wage for all hours worked, rather than 1.5 times the regular wage for overtime hours.
What To Do If You Feel You Were Denied The Overtime Pay You Earned
Keep every pay stub that shows the pay disparity. You will need these to support any claim you choose to make later.
Before working with an employment lawyer, discuss your unpaid wages with your company’s Human Resources department. In many cases, unpaid overtime is the result of a clerical oversight and can be rectified easily. If this is not the case for you, contact an experienced employment lawyer to discuss filing an unpaid overtime claim with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development in pursuit of compensation.
Work With A Top Wall Township Unpaid Overtime Attorney
If you worked overtime hours, you earned overtime pay. If you were not paid the wages you rightfully earned, you have the right to work with an experienced Monmouth County unpaid overtime attorney to pursue compensation for the wages you were unfairly denied. Learn more about your rights as an employee and your legal options for pursuing compensation in this scenario during your free legal consultation with a member of Sattiraju Law Firm, PC. Contact our office today to get started.