Overtime laws (under the Fair Labor Standards Act or “FLSA”) are very favorable to employees, but still many employees often mistakenly believe that they are not entitled to overtime pay because they received a salary or had the title of manager or supervisor. I am hoping that these common misconceptions can be avoided by those employees who worked overtime and were not paid the overtime wages they earned.
Employees who work more than 40 hours in a week should ask themselves these 8 questions, since a yes any one of them could mean that they are eligible to bring an unpaid overtime claim:
- Were you paid less than time and a half when you worked more than 40 hours in a week?
- Did you spend at least 80% of your time performing the work (and not supervise others) for your employer?
- Did your employer refuse to pay you overtime because you did not receive pre-approval?
- When you worked overtime during one week, were you told to work less than 40 hours the next week?
- Has your supervisor, manager, or boss adjusted your time records after you turned them in, even though you worked overtime?
- Before you clocked in or after you clocked out, did you have to do anything to prepare for work such as change clothing or take on or off protective gear?
- Have you regularly responded to telephone calls, emails, or text messages before or after your normal working hours?
- During your lunch or meal breaks, were you usually interrupted asked to perform work or take shorter breaks?
While these questions are not all-inclusive, and while a “yes” does not guarantee that you have an absolute right to recover unpaid overtime, these questions certainly identify a large majority of employees who were denied the overtime pay they earned.