Employers are required to pay their employees for any overtime work performed in excess of normal working hours.
Not all employees can earn overtime. Whether you are entitled to overtime pay depends on your state’s laws, your job duties and how many hours you have worked.
WHAT IS UNPAID OVERTIME?
Most employers are required to pay overtime to at least some of their employees. The overtime premium is half of your usual hourly rate. This means you are entitled to “time and a half” for every overtime hour you work.
Some types of work performed by production and processing employees include:
- Work Performed During Lunch Breaks
- Work Performed Before Shift Begins
- Work Performed After Shift Ends
These violations, and other overtime work, if uncompensated by an employer, may be grounds for an employee of a processing facility to seek a claim for damages.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR OVERTIME?
The vast majority of employers need to pay overtime, but not all do. Only certain employers are covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Generally, businesses that make more than $500,000 in annual sales are covered by the Act. Smaller employers may still be covered if they conduct business between states.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires that employers pay most employees overtime for all hours worked over 40 unless they fall under a specific exception. Unfortunately, employers often misclassify their employees as exempt from the FLSA when in fact they are non-exempt employees entitled to overtime.
The following list provides examples of lawful exemptions from the FLSA’s overtime requirement:
- Executive Exemption: The employee’s primary duty must be managing the business, and the employee must regularly direct the work of at least two full- time employees. The employee must be given the authority to hire and fire employees from the company, or to make recommendations as to hiring and firing that are given particular weight.
- Administrative Exemption: The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer, and the employee must assist with the running or servicing of the business. This includes activities such as accounting, auditing, purchasing, advertising, personnel management, or negotiations. The employee’s primary duty must include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment on matters of significance to the company.
- Professional Exemption: The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning, typically acquired through a college or similar program of instruction. In addition, the employee’s work must require the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment. Common examples of professionals exempt from overtime laws include doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, and engineers.
- Computer Employee Exemption: The employee must engage in duties that require a level of skill similar to that of computer programmers, software engineers, or systems analysts. Exempt computer employees have significant education and/or training in the computer sciences or other technical fields. Employees engaged in manufacturing or repairing computer hardware or software, such as IT Helpdesk employees, are not included in this exemption.
- Outside Sales Exemption: The employee must make sales, or obtain contracts for services or use of facilities, at a location other than their employer’s business.
For more information on exemptions, please see the Department of Labor’s Exemption Fact Sheets. We can help you determine if you are eligible for overtime pay.
HOW CAN HABUSH HELP?
If your employer is not paying you overtime or not giving you the wages you have earned for work completed in any way, we are here to help you regain your lost wages and bring your employer to justice.
Initially, it may be helpful to document instances of unfair pay, such as your employer changing timesheets or requiring you to work off the clock. If your employer does this to other employees, you may additionally be able to gain testimony from them to strengthen your case.
Habush Habush & Rottier can advise you in how to gain evidence against your employer that will be valuable in court. If you believe that your employer has failed to pay you the wages you deserve, you may be entitled to file a claim for money that you are owed. Contact Attorneys Jason Knutson or Breanne Snapp today at 608-255-6663 to speak about the details of your situation and learn more about how we can help.