Five Overtime Misconceptions That Could Cost You

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 granted overtime wages for certain employees, yet many who may qualify have misconceptions about overtime. Below are five common misconceptions surrounding overtime, as well as the facts.

1. Those in Professional Positions Do Not Qualify

Job titles do not indicate whether an employee is eligible for overtime. Only those who earn more than $455 per week or who have duties that would cause their position to be considered management do not qualify.

Employees are sometimes granted inappropriate job titles to prevent them from qualifying for overtime, though their job duties say otherwise. This misclassification of employees is an illegal employment practice.

2. Salaried Employees Are Exempt

While often salaried employees are exempt from earning overtime, it is not because they are salaried, but rather because of their job duties and/or the amount of their earnings.

If the employee qualifies for overtime, the overtime wage is calculated by calculating the hourly equivalent of their salary.

3. Menial Tasks Aren’t Worth It

All work must be compensated by law, regardless of how menial or significant it is. The entire shift, including nonproductive time and time performing work-related tasks shall be compensated for all hourly or salary employees. As long as the employer is aware or should be aware of the overtime work an employee is doing and permits the task(s), the overtime cannot be denied.

4. Overtime Can Be Spread Out Over a Two-Week Period

Overtime must be calculated for the calendar week in which it was performed, regardless of the pay cycle. It cannot be averaged over a two-week pay cycle to prevent the employer from paying overtime pay.

5. Comp Time Can Be Paid Instead of Overtime

Comp time is sometimes offered by an employer to avoid paying overtime. This is additional time off granted rather than the overtime wages owed. Legally, all overtime wages must be paid monetarily, rather than in earned time off, unless comp time is granted up to 40 hours in one week when no legal overtime is worked.

If your employer has failed to pay you the overtime earnings you are entitled to, contact the employment law attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers today to learn which legal options may be available to you.