Overtime pay isn’t optional if the employee puts in the time

| Jan 17, 2018 | Unpaid Overtime |

Employees who work more than 40 hours in a single work week are entitled to overtime pay. There isn’t any room for negotiation or discussion on this point when it comes to people who are paid hourly. Some employers will try to claim that employees who are due overtime shouldn’t be paid those wages because the overtime wasn’t authorized. This simply isn’t the case.

Even if an employee works overtime that isn’t authorized, the employee must be paid for that time. There isn’t any requirement for employees to get approval ahead of time to work those extra hours. Regardless of how the time falls in a pay period, the overtime rate stipulated by the state must apply if the worker puts in more than 40 hours in a work week.

There is one point in the guidelines about overtime pay that might interest workers. The protections in the Fair Labor Standards Act that cover overtime apply only to businesses that do more than $500,000 of business per year and have two or more employees. Sadly, this means that if an employer has only one employee, that person might not be able to get overtime pay.

As an employee, it isn’t your job to prevent yourself from working overtime. Instead, this burden always falls on your employer. Even if your employer frowns on overtime, you are still due to be paid for it if you work it. Keeping track of your work hours might help you ensure that you are paid what you are due. If your employer refuses to pay you for the overtime, you might have legal remedies available to you.

Source: T Sheets, “Do I have to pay employees for unauthorized overtime?,” accessed Jan. 17, 2018


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