Five Myths About Overtime Pay
Posted on behalf of Janet, Jenner & Suggs on April 11, 2017 in Labor and Employment
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, employers have to pay overtime wages to certain employees who work more than 40 hours per week.
Unfortunately, employers and employees have many misconceptions about when workers are entitled to overtime pay. If you believe any of these myths, it is possible you were entitled to overtime pay at some point and did not realize it.
If you have good reason to believe you were illegally denied overtime compensation, contact the experienced labor and employment lawyers at Janet, Jenner & Suggs today.
The five common misconceptions about overtime are:
1. Employees with Certain Job Titles are Ineligible for Overtime
Job titles do not make employees ineligible, or exempt, from overtime rules. There are only two reasons why you would be exempted from overtime rules:
- You earn a salary of at least $455 per week
- You have specific job duties defined by the FLSA
The FLSA outlines certain qualifications for different types of employees to receive overtime exemptions, including:
- Outside sales
Unfortunately, some employers give workers job titles that suggest they fall under overtime exemptions, even though these workers do not meet the requirements outlined by the FLSA. This is called misclassification and it is illegal.
2. Salaried Employees Are Exempt from Overtime
Being a salaried employee does not automatically disqualify you from earing overtime pay. If you earn less than $455 per week and work more than 40 hours, you are automatically eligible for overtime. Your employer needs to convert your salary into an hourly wage and multiply it by 1.5 to calculate your overtime compensation.
3. Pursuing Overtime Pay for Minimal Work Is Not Worth It
The FLSA mandates that any work performed must be compensated, including:
- Non-productive time when there is nothing to do
The FLSA requires employers to compensate you for any time spent performing work-related duties. If you come in early, stay late or work from home, your employer must pay you if it knew or should have known about the work and allowed it.
4. Employers Can Average Overtime Pay Over a Two-Week Pay Period
Overtime must be calculated for the week it was performed. The employer’s pay cycle has no effect on overtime determination.
Averaging overtime hours over the pay period is done illegally to avoid paying overtime. For example, if you are short 40 hours one week and over 40 hours the next, the employer cannot tack on your overtime hours to the previous week to avoid paying overtime.
5. Comp Time Can be Offered Instead of Overtime
An employer may offer comp time instead of overtime pay. Comp time is more time off of work, while overtime earnings are wages.
However, the FLSA mandates overtime be paid in cash. Comp time may only be offered if an employee did not log any overtime hours. For example, if you are scheduled for 35 hours of work in a week, but you work a full 40, comp time may be given for the extra five hours, but the five hours is not considered overtime.
Is your employer denying your overtime pay? The employment attorneys of Janet, Jenner & Suggs will work to hold your employer accountable to overtime pay laws, fighting to recover the compensation you deserve.