Are there ever circumstances where an employer doesn’t have to pay you for overtime work?
Yes, but only if your job is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Some salaried positions fit this distinction, but most hourly wage jobs and many “salaried” jobs do not.
You should contact us for a free case evaluation if your employer refuses to pay you overtime.
When Your Employer MUST Pay for Overtime Work
There are certain overtime pay rights all employees should know. For example, you should know when non-exempt workers exceed 40 hours of work each week, they’re entitled to time-and-a-half pay for every hour you work over 40 hours per week. In fact, your employer MUST pay you the premium, or face civil penalties.
Which jobs fit into the non-exempt category?
This basically covers all jobs unless the position fits into a very narrow exception (see the next section for examples). You very likely are entitled to overtime if your employer pays you hourly. Likewise, many lower paid “salary” workers are also entitled to overtime pay.
The original purpose of the FLSA was to protect laborers who performed physically demanding tasks from working to the point of exhaustion. While you can still work long hours in many career fields, your employer must compensate you properly which includes overtime pay.
When an Employer Does Not Have to Pay Overtime Premiums
There are several jobs which have duties that meet the narrow FLSA exempt tests which means that the employer is not required to pay overtime to those employees who work in these jobs. Again, many of these are salaried roles, but not all of them.
Here are the most common examples:
- Executives, Administrators, and Professionals (usually paid a salary)
- Independent Contractors (assuming they legitimately fit the description)
- Outside Salespeople (again, assuming they legitimately fit the description)
- Computer Programmers, Software Engineers, Systems Support Specialists (provided they earn a certain hourly amount)
- Seasonal Amusement Employees (i.e., ski resort park rangers)
- Newspaper Deliverers
- Domestic Care Providers (i.e., babysitters, home care aides)
As a rule of thumb, although there are exceptions, most employees who are not legally entitled to overtime pay receive their pay on a salary basis. This means that the employer pays these employees at least $684 per week ($35,568 per year) regardless of how much time the employee works that week. Generally, the employer must pay employees overtime pay if their salary is less than this amount.
Beware of Sneaky Job Classifications!
Unfortunately, there are many ways employers try to “game the system.” The Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC dedicates much of its effort to helping clients with mis-classified positions, like mortgage loan officers, “assistant manager,” or “independent contractor.” Not all employers do this, but some of the less scrupulous ones will coax their employees into accepting these roles if they think they can pay them less.
Take, for instance, the assistant manager who gets paid a meager salary of $30,000 for over 50 hours of work every week. If that person was making $15 an hour plus overtime for that amount of time, it’s easy to see how that gives them a better paycheck with the overtime premium.
For 50 hours of work, an hourly rate of $15 X 40 hours + (an additional 10 hours at $22.50) = $825. Over the course of a year, assuming 50 weeks of work, that person would earn $41,250. Clearly, that’s a much better arrangement than accepting the raw deal of $30,000 because an employer pressured you into it.
Job classification is a contentious issue with many opportunities for manipulation nowadays. If you’ve experienced this problem, we can help you obtain the overtime pay you have earned.
Contact Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC to Regain Lost Pay for Overtime Work
Unpaid overtime is a major problem across many sectors of the American economy. We help employees throughout the United States obtain overtime pay they have earned.
Contact us today if you believe your employer has denied your wages for overtime work.