On May 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new rules that will result in a pay raise for millions of workers. Employees who earn less than $47,476 will now be automatically eligible for overtime pay. The new rules include salaried and hourly employees who work more than 40 hours per week. The new rules also expand eligibility to many professional and administrative workers who were previously not entitled to overtime pay.
Do you earn between $23,000 and $47,476 per year? If so, you may be eligible to receive overtime pay, whether you are a salaried or hourly employee. Under new rules issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, most workers who earn less than $47,476 will now be entitled to time and a half pay if they work more than 40 hours per week. Are you being paid appropriately for every hour you’ve worked? If you aren’t certain, you’re not alone. The federal and state laws regulating overtime pay can be confusing. But one thing remains crystal clear: you work hard for your employer, and you should receive every dollar of the compensation you are legally due.
Who is eligible for overtime pay?
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the federal employee pay protection law), if you work more than 40 hours in a given workweek, and you are a nonexempt employee, you’re entitled to receive one-and-a-half times your regular rate of pay for every hour you work over the 40-hour mark.
Unlike nonexempt employees, exempt employees are ineligible for overtime. To be classified as an exempt employee, you must earn at least $913 a week, and must be paid on a “salary basis.” Being paid on a “salary basis” means an employee regularly receives a predetermined amount of compensation each pay period on a weekly, or less frequent, basis, and the employer does not make deductions from the predetermined amount. The types of jobs that are typically exempt from overtime pay include outside salespeople, people who manage at least two other employees, administrative professionals who provide support to the larger organization, and those in “learned professions” including attorneys, architects, physicians, and teachers.
If you’re concerned that you’re missing out on overtime pay because your employer is misclassifying your position, contact us for a consultation.
How do employers avoid paying overtime?
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some employers engage in unlawful practices to avoid paying overtime:
- They may calculate overtime by pay period instead of the work week — for example, by averaging together the hours over several weeks
- They may misclassify your position as an “exempt” salaried position when it doesn’t meet the criteria — for example, classifying you as a “manager” without the associated responsibilities
- They may ask you to clock out prior to finishing a specific task or job
- They may say that you didn’t get permission to work overtime and therefore, they don’t have to pay you for your additional hours
If you find yourself in one of these situations, you should contact the unpaid overtime attorneys at Cantrell Zwetsch for a consultation.
What if I think I’m not being properly compensated for my overtime?
If you think that your employer has misclassified you as a way to sidestep overtime pay, you’re constantly being asked to clock out and then finish tasks, or you have any other concerns about unpaid overtime, it’s in your best interest to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. The overtime protection laws have strict limitation periods that require action before the claims expire. An experienced unpaid overtime attorney will help determine if unpaid overtime is owed to you, as well as represent you in the process of collecting monies due from your employer.
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