What is Overtime?

If you are currently involved in a work situation where you are owed overtime pay, you should consider speaking with an employment attorney who can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Employers are bound by federal and state overtime laws with respect to the payment of overtime wages. These laws are in place to ensure that employers do not take advantage of employees by making them work excessive hours without extra pay above and beyond the employee’s typical wage amount.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs the payment of overtime wages and sets forth the rules with regard to when eligible employees must receive overtime pay. It is important to understand that not all employees are eligible for overtime protections under federal law as the FLSA places some workers in an “exempt” category. Exempt workers include certain executives and highly-paid employees (total annual compensation of $100,000 or more), administrative positions, professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc.), certain computer employees and those involved in outside sales. Determining whether a specific employment position is exempt can be a complex analysis that your employment attorney can help you understand.

If you are not in an exempt category, federal FLSA overtime laws likely apply to you and your employer must compensate you for extra hours worked. An employee who works beyond 40 hours in any work week is entitled to pay at a rate of one and one-half times the typical wage for hours worked beyond the 40th hour. The “work week” need not necessarily coincide with a calendar week, but it must consist of 168 total hours, or seven consecutive 24-hour periods. Your rate of pay can never fall below federal minimum wage and your employer may not manipulate the definition of the “work week” in order to avoid paying overtime when due.

In some states, overtime is available for work beyond seven days in a workweek. Each state provides its own version of labor and wage laws which can never decrease federal protections. State laws can expand upon federal laws by providing additional overtime where federal law does not require. Your attorney can advise you as to the amount of overtime you are owed and how to proceed against your employer to recover your due compensation.

If you are facing a difficult work situation and would like help, Deskin Law Firm is available to discuss your case with you. We are a national law corporation dedicated to advocating for employees not receiving their due compensation under federal and state laws.

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