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Unpaid Overtime: Is it Always Illegal?

Employers will try to get by without paying overtime. However, most of the time, it is illegal. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but you will likely know if you are not legally entitled to overtime.

The general rule is that employers must legally pay all employees overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours per week.  The overtime pay rate is 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.  The regular rate of pay includes the hourly pay rate plus other pay such as bonuses and commissions.

Unpaid Overtime: Is it Always Illegal?

You need to determine why your employer is working you overtime hours without paying you overtime pay for all of those hours you work. There are a few employees who are legally not entitled to overtime pay, but these exceptions are narrow and only apply to a few employees.

Employees Who are Not Entitled to Overtime

Generally, if you work for an hourly wage, then you are entitled to receive overtime pay for any time you work over 40 hours per week.  Some states have additional overtime rules such a California which requires overtime pay to hourly employees who work more than a specified number of hours daily. Employees who are earning a salary instead of hourly wages may still be legally entitled to overtime pay depending upon their job duties.

It can be confusing and employers often try to take advantage of this confusion. A salary is a set amount of money that you make each week that never changes. The employer cannot deduct from the salary due to the availability of work or your work production.

The most common types of employees who are not entitled to overtime are executives, administrators, and professionals.  These have complicated, legal definitions.  You should contact us if you believe your employer is failing to pay you overtime so we can determine if you are legally entitled to it.

Unpaid Overtime

Again, the law requires your employer to pay you overtime unless a narrow exemption applies.  You are likely legally entitled to overtime if your employer pays you an hourly wage. It is likely illegal for your employer to fail to pay you overtime for all hours you work over 40 hours per week.

You determine your overtime pay by how much you work over your regular 40 hours per week. Some states have a law that applies to the daily hours, so even if you worked nine hours on one day of the week, that is still overtime.

If you are asked to work overtime, keep track of all the hours yourself, just to compare them to your pay. If you are not getting time and a half, then your employer could be stealing from you and you should have your pay reviewed by an employment attorney.

Some employers may try to simply pay your regular wage for all the hours you worked, without paying more for the overtime. Some employers may try to offer you something else instead of overtime pay such as time off.  Both of these are illegal.

Unpaid Overtime is Illegal

You should stop working unpaid overtime and instead get paid for all time you work including overtime. We are here to help you do so If you need more information or some legal advice, please contact us here at Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC.

We can help you recover any unpaid overtime your employer owes you. You worked hard for the money and you earned it. Don’t let your employer steal it from you.