Overtime Violations

Many employees aren't aware that the companies they work for are violating overtime labor laws every day. They do this in many ways. With a few exceptions (such as outside salespeople), in California, a company is required to pay overtime for employees who work over eight hours per day, or 40 hours per week, or who work seven days in a row.

The labor laws for overtime pay can be murky at times depending on the industry or job you are in. Most overtime violations are in one of three categories: 1. misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime pay; 2. not counting the total number of hours worked, or 3. miscalculating overtime pay.

The most common violation involves employers' failure to pay overtime by misclassifying salaried employees as independent contractors. Although employees are entitled to overtime if they work over eight hours per day, or 40 hours per week, or who work seven days in a row, contractors aren't. In other situations, salaried employees who are IT help-desk specialists, administrative workers or assistant managers are labeled as exempt even though their job responsibilities deem them eligible for overtime pay. For example, an assistant manager can only be classified with “executive exemption” if the manager's main job is management, or if she/he regularly supervises two or more full-time employees and is also involved in the hiring, or firing of staff. If these criteria don't apply, then the assistant manager is entitled to overtime pay.

Another common overtime violation is not paying hourly workers for every hour they work. Some employers dock pay by claiming an employee had poor work quality or low productivity. Legally, the employer must pay every employee the same minimum salary for every job. Another way to reduce overtime pay is to not compensate employees who do additional work at home using remote computer access. If an hourly employee punches a time clock, but works for the company before clocking in or after clocking out, the employer must compensate the worker for the extra time.

Many employers miscalculate overtime or don't pay the time-and-a-half overtime pay that is required for salaried and hourly employees. This especially happens with field service workers. With companies that provide bonuses at the end of the week, month or year, they still need to keep track of how many overtime hours an employee worked. Even with the bonus, employers may underpay employees because they didn't accurately calculate how much overtime an employee worked. In cases in which back pay is due, the employer usually has to pay double the amount due for unpaid minimum wages.

If you feel you are due overtime pay, the first step is to discuss the matter with your employer. If the matter isn't resolved to your satisfaction, you can file a wage claim with the California labor department. It's also a good idea to speak with an employment lawyer before you file a claim to learn what your rights are and if you have a case.

Call the office of Yarian and Associates, for a free consultation. We have successfully helped people to get the back pay they are entitled to. Call us today to schedule your appointment.

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