Common Overtime Violations That
Cost Workers Money

A.    Breaks and Lunches:    Many employers do not pay their employees for short breaks.  The law, however, typically requires employers to pay their employees for breaks that last less than twenty (20) minutes.  Additionally, the law says that if an employee must clock out for lunch, but remain working at her desk or not completely free from her duties during lunch, the employer must pay the employer for that time.  If automatic deductions have been made for lunch, the employer must credit back the time to the employee under these circumstances, but employers rarely do so.

B  Misclassifying Employees:   Many employers try to avoid paying overtime by simply paying a salary to employees who are not exempt from overtime requirements.  Employers sometime give an employee a fancy or important sounding title to try to make their employees fit into one of the narrow exemptions under the law.  However, it is the actual job duties the employee performs, not the title, that determine whether an employee must be paid overtime.

C  Working "Off-the-Clock":   Some employers require their employees to do certain tasks before clocking in, or require them to clock-out at the end of their scheduled shift while they continue working until the job is finished.  Frequently, employers fail to pay employees for time "donning and doffing" safety or protective equipment required to perform their jobs

D  Combining Workweeks:   Some employers try to avoid paying overtime by averaging an employee's hours over 2 or more workweeks to avoid having an employee go over 40 hours in either workweek.  For example, if you work 35 30 hours in one workweek, and 50 hours in the next, the employer may not average the hours into 2 40 hour workweeks, and must pay 10 hours of overtime for the 50 hour workweek.

E   Required Authorization:    Some employers refuse to pay for overtime work if the employee did not get advanced permission to work overtime.  

F.   Meetings and Training:   Some employers require employees to attend work-related meeting and/or training sessions, but do not pay for those hours.  If the meetings and/or training is required or for the benefit of the employer, it is compensable time and must be included when calculating your wages and overtime.

G.   Work at Home:   Some employers permit an employee to take home work, but do not include the employee's time in calculating their wages and overtime.

H.   On-Call Work:   Some employers require employees to be "on call" when they are not scheduled to work, restricting their ability to engage in other activities or travel, so that they're available to be called into work at a moments notice

I  Unpaid Final Paychecks:   Some employers fail to pay employees their final paycheck upon termination or resignation.  When the employee has worked during the final pay period for which the employer has failed to make payment, this usually violates Federal and State minimum wage laws.  Additionally, it may violate overtime laws, if the employee worked more than 40 hours in any workweek covered in the final pay period.

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