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Questions about Unpaid Overtime

Are employers required by law to pay more for overtime?

Yes. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law which requires employers to pay one and a half times your normal hourly wage for all overtime hours. Your state may have overtime laws, as well. If your employer fails to pay you overtime wages for all overtime you work, you may be entitled to receive compensation through a wage and hour claim.

What is overtime?

Any hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. A workweek consists of seven consecutive days. Your employer can choose which day of the week starts the workweek. If you work 42 hours in one workweek, you have worked two hours of overtime.

What if I am on a two week pay cycle?

Overtime is calculated based on a workweek - a one week period. Your pay cycle does not affect this. Your employer cannot average your weekly hours across the two weeks. If you work less than 80 hours over the course of two weeks, but more than 40 hours in one of those weeks, you are still entitled to overtime pay. For instance, if you work 50 hours this week, and only five hours next week, your employer owes you overtime pay for 10 hours.

Is everyone entitled to overtime?

Most employees are entitled to overtime. Certain types of employees are exempt. Overtime exemptions are based on your actual job duties, not your job title, the rules are very strict, and it is up to your employer to prove that you are truly exempt.

What are some common exemptions?

There are very specific conditions for each exemption. You cannot assume that you fall under an exemption simply by its name. The experienced wage and hour attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers can help you figure out if you should be classified as exempt based on your job duties.

Common exemptions include:

  • Executive
  • Administrative
  • Certain professionals
  • Outside sales
  • Computer professionals
  • Seasonal and recreational workers

If I am paid a salary does that mean I am automatically exempt from overtime pay?

No. Some salaried positions are exempt, but they must meet the other qualifications for exemption. Your job duties are more meaningful in determining exemption than how you are paid.

My employer says he will not pay my overtime because I did not get permission first. Can he do that?

No. Your employer is responsible for keeping track of and controlling your hours. Employers are required to pay for overtime if they know or should have known that you were working overtime hours.

Please contact our wage and hour attorneys today to schedule your free initial consultation. Jacoby & Meyers has offices nationwide.