The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay to non-exempt employees overtime pay at the rate of one and one half times (1-½) their regular rate of pay if the employee works more than 40 hours in a work week. Most employees qualify to receive overtime pay with a few exceptions.
Some employers violate the FLSA by using one the following tactics to avoid paying overtime:
- Telling you that you are not entitled to overtime because you are a salaried employee. Unless your description falls under one of the exemptions categories, you may still be entitled to overtime.
- Salary deductions in increments of less than one full day’s worth of pay are almost always not allowed under the FLSA and could entitle the salaried employee to overtime.
- Not paying you overtime pay if you are making less than $455 in a 40 hour work week, no matter what your job responsibilities may be.
- By splitting up overtime hours during a bi-weekly pay period. For example, if you work 60 hours in one week and 20 hours in the second week of the pay period, you are still entitled to overtime pay for the 20 hours of overtime worked in the first week. This is also a violation of the FLSA. It does not matter that you are paid bi-weekly.
Some states have their own laws concerning overtime and minimum wage claims. Under these laws you may be entitled to overtime that is calculated at higher rates than the FLSA.
Special rules apply to employees of federal, state and local governments in the areas of fire protection and law enforcement, volunteering and compensatory time. A limited partial overtime exemption applies to law enforcement and fire protection employees.