Federal law states that every hour worked ought to be paid according to the state’s definition of minimum wage as well as what a certain company defines their hourly rate to be. In addition, overtime is supposed to be paid at a rate of 1.5 times the normal hourly rate. Many employers, however, feign ignorance when it comes to laws on overtime and unpaid wages in the hopes that their employees will turn a blind eye to this serious labor violation.
What the Law Says On Overtime Pay
According to the law, you can collect unpaid overtime pay up to two years after it was earned. This gives you an opportunity to seek legal counsel even if the violation happened some time ago.
Some of the ways employers try to get out of paying overtime include:
- Asking workers not to record chunks of time outside the 40 hour workweek.
- Wrongfully classifying employees as independent contractors.
- Using the fluctuation workweek model to weasel out of paying you overtime.
- Enforcing work policies that reduce the number of hours logged.
As an employee, you’re owed overtime if you work over 40 hours a week. However, there are some types of employees who are exempt from this. This may include the following types of workers:
- Executives, professionals, and administrative personnel who are paid salaries on a regular basis.
- Volunteer workers.
- Independent contractors.
- Certain computer specialists.
- Criminal investigators.
- Employees working in seasonal recreational centers.
Checking Work Emails After Work? That’s Overtime Too!
In some instances, your employer may require you to carry out certain duties that are related to your work outside of a work setting. This may include things like checking emails on your phone as well as setting up computer programs. Because you are performing work related duties that will benefit the company in the long run, these activities are considered work and you deserve to be compensated for such.
By consulting with an unpaid wages attorney, you’ll be able to determine your legal options and potentially collect what’s owed to you (and even get your employer to pay your legal fees for you). What’s more is that if you use the liquidated damages clause of the Fair Labor Standards Act, you may be able to double your wage claim!