As the old saying goes, “work smarter, not harder.” While some working professionals consider it to be wise work ethic advice, others prefer the traditional method of working hard to reap the rewards. However, what happens when an employee’s overtime hours are not compensated for by the employer?
Working overtime is not uncommon for employees when extra work is required. However, supervisors often fail to give credit for overtime hours, which is in direct violation of the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA provides regulated guidelines for overtime pay and minimum wages in both private and public work industries. FLSA’s overtime regulations require employees to be paid one-and-a-half times more than their regular hourly wages for any extra hour that exceeds a 40-hour work week.
A common scenario relevant to the issue at hand is when employers, who lack the budget for hiring new employees, depend on existing employees to work overtime. Employers may do this despite knowing that they are unable to compensate for the employee’s overtime pay rate of time-and-a-half, and thus risk violating FLSA. Unfortunately, many employees fall victim to unfair practices by the employer and lose out on their hard-earned wages for their extra time, simply because they don’t know what their rights are in the workplace.
If you are working for an employer who refuses to pay or acknowledge overtime that you have worked, or if you fall victim to management that improperly alters timesheets to deny overtime pay, be sure to know your legal rights and consult an experienced labor law lawyer.