Myth Busting: The Most Common Overtime Violations
State and federal law regarding overtime can be quite complicated, which some employers try to take advantage of in order to get out of paying employees what they should be. There are a number of common overtime violations that employers commonly try to hide under unlawful excuses. Here are some of the more common examples:
- Reclassification – If you have been working for the same company and only recently started getting overtime pay due to your job position being “reclassified,” then you are likely the victim of overtime violations. Usually this happens when an employer realizes the mistake and tries to correct it without paying for unpaid wages.
- Salary Pay – Some employers falsely claim that all salaried employees are exempt from earning overtime, but that is not the case. Employees on salary that earn $455 per workweek or more are exempt, but anyone making less than that are nonexempt from overtime laws.
- Overtime Pay Rate – Overtime laws require that employees are paid 1.5 times their normal wages for overtime hours. This applies to almost all hourly employees. If you’re employer does not pay the full time and a half for overtime hours, then they are likely in violation of overtime law.
- Unauthorized Overtime – Employers may sometimes even delete overtime hours from timesheets and call it “unauthorized overtime.” Employers must pay workers if they were aware or should reasonably been aware of any overtime worked.
- Stolen Time – Employees should also be paid for anytime that they are required to be on-call, traveling to a job, or even small breaks.
- Small Business – Some small business owner may try to lie, saying that their business is too small to be covered by overtime laws. There is no minimum employee requirement for overtime laws.
- Volunteer Time – There is also no such thing as “voluntary overtime.” Employers that argue time worked beyond the 40 hour workweek is just volunteered and unpaid are likely violating overtime law.
- Comp Time – Some employers offer paid time-off in exchange for overtime work, but this too is a violation. As appealing as it is, private sector employers are not allowed to offer compensatory time.