Overtime can be lucrative for employees who are willing to put in the extra hours, but some employees are surprised when they find they are not compensated for their additional work. There are some circumstances in which overtime laws are not applicable, but in most cases, if you work more than 40 hours in a given week, your employer must adjust your compensation rate accordingly. These are three ways companies commonly try to avoid it.
Use salary as an excuse
It is a common misconception that salaried employees are not eligible for overtime wages. According to the United States Department of Labor, this is only true if you make at least $455 per week or $23,660 annually. Salaried workers who make less than this are due overtime payment for any hours in excess of 40 in a work week.
Require work off the clock
Some employers pressure or explicitly require their employees to work off the clock. They may even facilitate it by providing company-funded phones or other technology. Even with these perks, your employer cannot ask you to make phone calls, answer emails or do anything else work-related if they are not compensating you for the time it takes to do so, including overtime wages if they are applicable.
Classify employees as independent contractors
This is one of the most common ways employers get around overtime laws. Companies that dictate when, where and how you work are requiring you to fulfill the duties typically expected of an employee. In addition to losing the wages the company may owe you for working overtime, you are losing all of the money you pay in taxes that should be your employers’ responsibility.
If your employer is refusing to pay you overtime that you are due, a lawyer may be able to help. Contact an attorney for more information.