Many categories of employees throughout the United States are entitled to overtime compensation under federal or state overtime laws. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay eligible employees time and a half of their regular rate when they work in excess of forty hours in a single workweek. Some state laws also require overtime pay when eligible employees work in excess of eight hours in a single workday.
What is "Straight Time for Overtime"?
When someone receives overtime pay, they get “time and a half,” or 1.5 times their base rate. “Straight time for overtime” occurs when an employee receives their regular rate of pay when they should be receiving overtime compensation.
What are Employer Obligations Under Overtime Law?
Employers covered by an overtime law must pay overtime compensation to nonexempt employees, even when working overtime was not authorized and even if the company has a policy requiring prior approval for overtime. Some employers will work to avoid paying overtime by misclassifying legitimate employees as independent contractors or non-exempt employees as exempt employees. Other employers may openly refuse to honor overtime rules.
Why Do You Need an Overtime Lawyer?
Too many employees do not realize they deserve overtime pay or do not know what to do when their employer refuses to honor the law. We offer nationwide assistance with straight time for overtime claims and can work to recover what you are owed. Our unpaid overtime lawyer at Fair Labor Law has over a decade of experience and is committed to helping workers exercise and enforce their rights. We can assist you with every element of your claim and provide you with the representation you need to prevail.
Each state has its own rules for who receives overtime and when. Some are more generous than others.
All states are subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which stipulates that overtime must be paid when eligible employees work in excess of 40 hours in a single workweek. In other words, any hours worked beyond the typical 40-hour workweek must be paid at time and a half. For example, if your base rate is $20 an hour and you work 50 hours in a single workweek, 10 of those hours must be paid at a $30 rate.
Only employees can potentially be eligible for overtime pay under these rules. Independent contractors are not legally considered employees and are consequently not entitled to overtime. Some, but not all, salaried employees and certain other categories of employees are exempt from the overtime requirement.
Regardless of what your employer might say, you are entitled to overtime pay if you are nonexempt and your work is covered under a state or federal overtime law. Unfortunately, some employers will go to great lengths to deny overtime pay. They may assume employees are not familiar with the nuances of employment law and do not understand their rights. You must be vigilant to ensure you are being appropriately compensated for all hours worked.
Some “straight time for overtime” scenarios we regularly encounter include:
- An employer openly refuses to honor overtime pay rules. In some cases, employers will be brazen when refusing to provide overtime compensation. They may attempt to intimidate employees or imply they will be reprimanded or terminated if they report the issue. An employer cannot lawfully retaliate against an employee for filing an unpaid wage claim.
- An employer refuses to pay overtime by claiming overtime hours were not authorized. They may claim that the company’s payroll budget is stretched thin and that an employee should not have worked hours eligible for overtime pay in the first place. Employers are allowed to implement rules forbidding unauthorized overtime and can discipline employees for violating those rules, but they still must compensate employeesfor the overtime hours worked.
- An employer misclassifies an employee as an independent contractor. Independent contractors are not entitled to overtime and in theory have the autonomy to conduct their work when and how they please. In practice, independent contractor misclassification allows employers to get away with not having to pay benefits or honor overtime rules. A supposed “independent contractor” that meets the legal definition of an employee is still entitled to overtime pay.
- An employer misclassifies a salaried non-exempt employee as exempt. Salaried employees are usually entitled to overtime compensation if they make less than $35,568 annually. If a salaried employee makes more than this amount, they can only be considered exempt from overtime if they meet the highly specific requirements for administrative, professional, and executive-level positions. Employers will sometimes exploit the ambiguities of how exemption status is determined to deny non-exempt salaried employees overtime pay.
Our unpaid overtime lawyer is committed to helping employees hold their employers accountable. A successful claim can help you recover unpaid overtime wages plus additional damages and attorney's fees. Our team at Fair Labor Law can evaluate your situation and determine what level of compensation may be available to you. We will then work tirelessly to advance your claim and deliver the results you deserve.
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