Overtime Pay: What It Is & How Employers Try to Avoid It

With few exceptions, employers covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are legally required to pay employees for overtime work. Under FLSA laws, employers must pay nonexempt workers 150% more than their hourly wage for every hour they work over 40 in a week. The unfortunate truth is that not all employers abide by FLSA laws, and workers all over the country are denied the overtime wages they rightfully deserve. In fact, companies will often use specific strategies and tactics to avoid paying employees for overtime work. If your employer has denied you the overtime wages you worked for, you may be in the position to file a wage claim and hold them accountable under FLSA laws.

Who is Eligible for Overtime Pay?

Companies that are covered by FLSA laws are legally obligated to pay workers for overtime hours, unless the worker falls into the exemption category. A general rule is that the FLSA covers any business with over $500,000 in annual sales. Even if your employer is smaller, the FLSA likely still covers it and your company must pay overtime wages if it is involved in interstate commerce. In terms of overtime pay, all employees will either fall under the “exempt” or “nonexempt” categories, so it is important to know the distinction.

In order to determine whether you are eligible to receive overtime wages, you must know if your position is considered exempt or nonexempt under the FLSA. Examples of exempt employees, or those who are not entitled to overtime compensation, include:

  • Executive, administrative, or supervisory positions
  • Volunteers
  • Independent contractors
  • Outside salespeople
  • Small farm employees

This list is not exhaustive and does not fully cover all employees considered “exempt” from overtime pay. If you are unsure about your eligibility for overtime wages, it is important to consult with your employer.

How Employers Avoid Overtime Pay

Companies will often use specific strategies to avoid providing workers with overtime pay. You may be owed overtime wages if your employer has used any of the following deceitful tactics:

  • Underreporting employee hours
  • Failing to pay workers for “off-the-clock” tasks
  • Misclassifying workers as independent contractors or salaried employees

If you believe you are not receiving the overtime pay you rightfully deserve, contact the Hankey Law Office today. Our legal team will be able to walk you through the legal process of fighting for your earned wages. Contact us today by calling (800) 520-3633.