Overtime and the Clock

by | Nov 9, 2011 | News, Wage and Overtime Law

Overtime Without the Clock

Most employees are entitled to be paid based on the hours that they worked, and not on a salaried basis, plus overtime wages. Workers who are paid by the hour usually clock in and out of work. This can be done in many ways, from sign-in sheets to punch clocks to employee card scanners to more sophisticated fingerprint scanners.

One issue that I see time and time again is that workers who were not required to clock in wonder how they are going to be paid overtime. They got to work early in the morning, left late in the evening, took only a few minutes for lunch, and worked way more than 40 hours a week. But, their employers didn’t keep time sheets, and they don’t punch in or out. Each paystub is for the same amount, which is basically a weekly wage minus the taxes and other withholdings (to check your withholdings, click here to jump to the IRS Withholding Calculator). So, they ask me whether they can make a claim for having worked overtime.

The main overtime law, the Fair Labor Standards Act, still allows for employees to get the overtime pay they earned even when their employer didn’t make or keep time records. In most circumstances, the employee is entitled to estimate the hours worked and then it is the employer’s duty to contest that estimate with evidence to the contrary.

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to make and keep accurate time records and, when an employer does not, it can’t then benefit from not having the right time and payment records. This means that an employer can’t win an overtime case by arguing that it made and kept no records. In fact, the opposite usually happens – the employer is forced to settle because it doesn’t have the right records to defeat a claim for unpaid overtime.

The FairLaw Firm and its attorney are familiar with these and other issues that can arise when dealing with unpaid overtime wage issues. Contact the FairLaw Firm for a free initial consultation with Brian H. Pollock, the law firm’s unpaid/underpaid overtime and wage lawyer.


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