The United States has a long history of workers fighting for a 40-hour work week. Dating back to the second half of the 19th Century, workers was finally codified by the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938. The argument was that workers shouldn’t spend their entire lives at work. 40 hours was a fair split: 40 hours per week at work, 40 hours at home, and 40 hours sleeping.What is Overtime?
Overtime laws don’t necessarily restrict the amount of hours an employee can work in any particular week. Instead, the law is meant to provide extra compensation to employees who work overtime hours. In general, this is what is commonly known as “time and a half.”
Time and a half means that for every hour an employee works that’s more than 40 in a particular week. So, if a person is earning $20/hour, the employer would have to pay $30/hour for each additional hour over 40. So, if this employee making $20/hour works 50 hours in a week, he/she would be entitled to $1,100.00 that week. This would include $800 for those 40 hours as well as $300 for the 10 hours of overtime.Are All Employees Covered?
Unfortunately, no. There are many types of employees that are exempt from overtime law. The most common employee that is not entitled to overtime is a salaried worker who has executive and/or managerial responsibilities. Companies can require salaried workers to work more than 40 hours per week without any extra overtime compensation.
The first requirement is that the salaried employee be paid more than approximately $35,000 per year. The other requirement is that the employee must qualify for an “executive exemption.” To do that, an employer must prove that the salaried employee was primarily a manager, directed the work of other employees, and have the ability to hire/fire or recommend a hiring/firing.
Other examples include:
- certain farm workers;
- employees of common carriers, such as airlines and train employees;
- Administrative employees; and
- Outside salesmen/women.
Just because you cashed your paycheck, it doesn’t mean you gave up your opportunity to be paid overtime. You’re entitled to bring a claim against your employer and possibly one of the owners/manager who decided to not pay you the overtime you’re entitled to.
This claim involves more than just the extra pay; you’re eligible to 3x the amount of the unpaid wages, along with attorney’s fees. That means that if you’re successful, your employer will have to pay your lawyer’s legal fees. This is important, because even if your claim isn’t worth much money, you’ll be able to hire a reputable lawyer who knows that he/she will be able to get his/her full legal bill paid.You Need an Experienced Lawyer
At Marcotte Law Firm, we have experience litigating Wage & Hour claims. We’ve represented workers, and we’ve represented companies. We use that diver experience to zealously represent our clients and get them the wages they worked for and deserve.
If you weren’t paid Overtime, call the experienced and tenacious lawyers at Marcotte Law Firm for a free, no obligation consultation. In most cases, there’s no fee unless we win.