Overtime Q&A

Am I owed overtime pay?

If you work more than 40 hours per week, you may be owed overtime pay.

Many people who work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to receive overtime pay, but do not..  Sometimes their employer tells them they are “salaried” or “exempt” when this is incorrect.  Sometimes hard-working employees work extra hours without being paid for those hours.  When an employee works more than 40 hours, the employer may be required to pay that overtime, even if the employee no longer works for that employer.

What do overtime wage laws require?

State and federal laws provide that after employees have worked 40 hours in a week, they must be paid for any additional hours at one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.

Employers who violate the law are liable for unpaid wages, interest, reasonable attorney fees, and in some cases, double damages.

What employees are entitled to receive overtime pay?

Generally, all employees are presumed to be entitled to receive overtime pay.  However, some persons may be “exempt” from coverage if the employer can prove that they clearly meet certain legal criteria.  Only employees who meet these criteria can be refused overtime pay.

What if my employer classifies my job as “exempt”?

Just because an employer labels a job as “exempt” does not mean that it is exempt under the law.  Click here for more information.

Does the fact that I am paid a salary mean that I am “exempt” and not entitled to overtime pay?

No.  Being paid a salary does not automatically exempt from a person from overtime wage laws.  An employer can only classify employees as “exempt” if they meet specific criteria.

What if I am a manager or a supervisor?

Managers and supervisors are not necessarily exempt from the right to receive overtime pay.   An employer can only classify managers and supervisors as exempt under specific circumstances.

How far back can I recover unpaid overtime wages?

You can recover up to three years of back pay, and are entitled to interest on that money as well.  You may recover unpaid overtime wages from both current and past employers.

What if my employer never asked me to work overtime, but I did so anyway?

Unless your job is truly exempt from overtime wage laws, you generally must be paid for all overtime hours that you work.  This includes overtime hours that you alone decided to put in, and which were not requested by your employer.

What if I agreed to give up my right to collect overtime pay?

By law, you may not agree to give up your right to collect overtime pay.  This remains true even if you agreed in writing not to accept overtime pay.

If you think you are owed overtime, we’d like to speak with you.  There is no charge for the initial phone consultation.  Please contact Joe Shaeffer, Jesse Wing, or Leslie Hagin.