Unpaid Overtime Claims
Have you been paid for the overtime you have worked or all of the wages you have earned? Many employers require employees to work off the clock or misclassify workers as salaried or Independent Contractors to avoid paying overtime wages. You have rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is a federal law that protects workers.
Under the FLSA, certain workers receive time and a half for hours worked over 40 per week, even if the employer claims the work is unauthorized. It also requires workers be paid for all time spent on the job, including participation in safety meetings, putting on or taking off uniforms, putting away tools, and other work-related activities.
Being paid a salary does not automatically mean you are not eligible for overtime. Some salaried workers are misclassified and should be paid by the hour. If you participated in work-related activities and were not paid, or if you were salaried and were not paid for overtime, you may have legal rights to recover unpaid wages.
If you feel your employer has denied you overtime wage payments for hours worked, a Bohrer Brady unpaid overtime attorney can help.
The Types of Workers Most Often Denied Overtime Pay
Unfortunately, some employers attempt to avoid paying properly by misclassifying workers as exempt or independent contractors. The most common types of workers denied overtime pay include the following:
- Misclassified as Independent Contractors: Companies often misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid the cost of paying overtime. Independent Contractors are generally their own business entity, and are free to work for multiple companies simultaneously and determine when, where, and how they will work. They provide their own tools, training, and equipment and generally work pursuant to a contract. Employees generally work for a single employer that controls or supervises what they do, sets a work schedule, and determines the hours and location where the employee works. Examples of workers that are often misclassified as Independent Contractors, who are legally employees and eligible for overtime, include home health workers, nurses, inspectors, operators, technicians, drivers, construction workers, analysts, plant workers, and oil, gas, and chemical workers.
- Hourly Employees: All non-exempt workers must receive overtime if they work more than 40 hours per workweek, per the FLSA. Generally, you should receive overtime if you are paid by the hour.
- Salaried Employees: Salaried employees may also be owed unpaid overtime. To determine whether the FLSA covers you, we must analyze your job duties to decide whether you are non-exempt.
- Day Rate Employees: Most companies pay their employees hourly, but some employers use day rate systems that do not include overtime pay. Day rate workers are entitled to overtime for every hour worked over 40 in a workweek.
If you or someone you know is not being paid overtime, it’s essential to contact an unpaid overtime attorney at Bohrer Brady, LLC, for a free initial confidential consultation. You may be entitled to damages, and our team of experienced attorneys can help you recover what you are owed.
How Employers Avoid Paying Overtime
Averaging work hours is a common technique where employers calculate an employee’s weekly wages over two or more weeks instead of the actual number of hours worked in one week. Doing so results in the employee being paid their regular pay rate for hours worked beyond 40 hours, avoiding overtime pay.
Employers may also be unaware of overtime laws and not know that certain employees should be paid overtime for working over 40 hours a workweek. Some employers will force their employees to work off-the-clock or during unpaid lunch breaks to avoid paying them overtime. In addition, they may misclassify employees by categorizing them as independent contractors or as exempt, thus preventing them from receiving the overtime pay they’re entitled to.
Finally, some employers do not include certain per diem pay, production bonuses, or shift differential pay when calculating overtime wages. If you have been a victim of an employer who has tried to avoid paying you for your overtime hours or has not paid you at the correct overtime rate, seek the help of an unpaid overtime attorney immediately.
Unpaid Overtime FAQs