Unpaid Overtime and Wages
An employer who requires or permits an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay the employee premium pay for overtime hours.
Unless specifically exempted, employees covered by the Federal Labor Standards Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. There is no limit on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek.
An employee’s workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours — seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It need not coincide with the calendar week, but may begin on any day and at any hour of the day. Different workweeks may be established for different employees. Averaging the number of hours worked over the course of two or more weeks is not permitted. Generally, overtime pay earned in a particular workweek must be paid on the regular pay day for the pay period in which the wages were earned.
Unless exempted, an employee’s regular rate of pay cannot be less than the minimum wage. The regular rate of pay includes all remuneration for employment except certain excluded payments. Payments which are not part of the regular rate include pay for expenses incurred on the employer’s behalf, premium payments for overtime work or the true premiums paid for work on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, discretionary bonuses, gifts and payments in the nature of gifts on special occasions, and payments for occasional periods when no work is performed due to vacation, holidays, or illness.
Common pay-related violations include, but are not limited to:
- Misclassification as exempt from overtime
- “Off-the-clock” work
- Improper OT calculation methods
- Failure to pay compensable time (travel; donning/doffing; on-call; training)
- Minimum wage violations
- Failure to provide true meal and rest breaks
- Vacation forfeitures
- Improper wage deductions / “charge backs”
- Failure to reimburse employees for expenses / uniforms
- Improper classification as independent contractor