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Your Rights To Unpaid Overtime Wages

As an employee, you work hard to fulfill your responsibilities and contribute to your employer’s success. However, if you find yourself working overtime hours without receiving proper compensation, it’s essential to understand your rights and take action to pursue the wages you rightfully deserve. Our friends at Eric Siegel Law specialize in advocating for employees in wage claim disputes and have provided expert guidance below on this topic:

Understanding Overtime Pay Requirements

Under federal and state labor laws, employers are generally required to pay non-exempt employees overtime wages for hours worked beyond a certain threshold. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes the federal overtime pay requirements, while state laws may provide additional protections and regulations. Here are some key aspects of overtime pay requirements:

Threshold for Overtime: Non-exempt employees are typically entitled to overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek. However, some states may have different overtime thresholds or additional requirements.

Overtime Rate: Overtime pay is typically calculated at a rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked beyond the standard workweek.

Exemptions: Certain categories of employees, such as salaried professionals, executives, and administrative personnel, may be exempt from overtime pay requirements based on specific criteria outlined in the FLSA and state laws. These exemptions may appear in your employee handbook or employee agreement, so it is important to consult those first to determine if you are eligible.

Common Violations Of Overtime Pay Laws

Despite the legal requirements regarding overtime pay, some employers may engage in practices that violate employees’ rights to fair compensation. Common violations of overtime pay laws include:

Misclassifying Employees: Employers may misclassify employees as exempt from overtime pay when they should be classified as non-exempt. This misclassification deprives employees of their rightful overtime wages.

Off-the-Clock Work: Employers may require or allow employees to perform work-related tasks off the clock, such as responding to emails or completing assignments outside of scheduled work hours, without compensating them for this time. Employers may also ask for work to be done outside of normal hours as a “favor” rather than a paid project.

Failure to Record Hours: Employers may fail to accurately record and track employees’ hours worked, leading to underpayment or nonpayment of overtime wages. It is very important for employees to also keep track of their time so they are aware of what they are owed.

Compensation For Unpaid Overtime Wages

If you believe that you have been denied proper compensation for overtime hours worked, you have the right to pursue legal remedies to recover unpaid wages. Here are steps you can take to pursue compensation for unpaid overtime wages:

Gather Documentation: Collect documentation and evidence of your work hours, including timesheets, pay stubs, emails, and any other records that indicate the hours you worked and the compensation you received.

Consult with a Lawyer: Schedule a consultation with a wage claim lawyer to discuss your situation and explore your legal options. A knowledgeable attorney can assess the merits of your case, explain your rights, and guide you through the process of pursuing a wage claim.

File a Wage Claim or Lawsuit: Depending on the circumstances of your case and applicable laws, your attorney may advise you to file a wage claim with the appropriate state labor agency or pursue a lawsuit against your employer for unpaid overtime wages.

Whether you’re dealing with misclassification issues, off-the-clock work, or other violations of overtime pay laws, a lawyer can provide the legal guidance and the representation you need to pursue justice and recover the wages you deserve. Unpaid overtime wages can have a significant impact on employees’ financial well-being and quality of life. If you believe that you have been denied proper compensation for overtime hours worked, it’s crucial to take action to assert your rights and seek fair compensation. Contact a lawyer today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how they can assist you in pursuing compensation for unpaid overtime wages.