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Ten Common Ways Employers Illegally Deny Employees Overtime

Posted by B&F System Admin | Oct 31, 2017

  1. Employers Do Not Pay Salaried Employees Overtime Most employees believe that if they are salaried, they are not entitled to overtime. This is simply not true. Whether an employee is entitled to overtime is based on the job duties the employee performs — not how the employee is paid.
  2. Employers Do Not Pay for Working Through Lunch or for Time Off the Clock As the work day has lengthened, so must the pay for work. Employees no longer work from 9-5. They work longer hours, work through lunch, come in early, stay late and often work from home. All of this time is time worked and must be paid by the employer. If the employer has told you to come to work but not clock in, or has changed your hours, you are still entitled to pay for the hours you worked.
  3. Employers Do Not Pay Workers Who Make Less than $23,600 Overtime Employees who make under $23,600 per year are entitled to overtime, except for teachers, doctors and lawyers. Many employers, especially in the food industry, pay employees less than $23,600 per year but tell the employees they are not entitled to overtime.
  4. Employers Pay Comp Time or Flex Time An employer cannot substitute “comp time” for overtime pay. Unless your employer is the government, it must pay you time and a half for hours worked over forty in a workweek.
  5. Employers Do Not Pay Commissioned or Piece Rate Employees Overtime An employee who is paid on a commission or piece rate basis must be compensated at time and a half of the regular rate. Many employers pay the same amount for work done inside the forty hour period as well as work outside the forty hour period. An outside sales employee can be paid strictly on a commissioned basis, but only if the work is usually done away from the employer and at the customer's site.
  6. Employers Do Not Pay for “Unapproved” Overtime An employer cannot tell you that it will not pay for time that you worked over forty in a week. If you worked it, the employer must pay you for it. If your job takes more than forty hours to fulfill, and the employer knows or should know that, you are still entitled to be paid for the work you have done — regardless of whether the employer has given you pre-approval for it.
  7. Employers Dock Employees' Pay If an employer docks your pay, you are probably not paid on a salary basis. Look to see whether the employer has a specific written rule about the docking of pay. If not, you are most likely entitled to be paid overtime because you are an hourly employee — even if you believe that you are a salaried employee.
  8. Employers Pay the Same Rate For More Than 40 Hours in a Week Employers will sometimes pay for hours worked over 40 — but only at the same rate as the regularly hourly rate. An hourly employee who works more than 40 hours is entitled to time and a half times the regular rate for those hours worked after 40.
  9. Employers Pay Only 40 Hours No Matter How Many Hours Worked Many employers will pay employees 40 hours, regardless of the amount of time worked. Unless an employee is paid a set salary that does not change each week — and the employee also meets one of the few exemptions — the employee must be paid for the time worked.
  10. Employers Misclassify Employees as Exempt When They are Not To be an exempt, an employee typically has to be paid on a salary basis. But that is not all — an employee must also meet all the tests of an exemption. The three major exemptions are administrative, executive and professional. To qualify as an executive employee, an employee's primary duty must be management and the employee must also supervise at least two employees. Many “managers” do not have a primary duty of management, but instead must also make sales or do the work of the business. The administrative exemption is also often misused. An employee is only an administrative employee if working on the operations side of the business, such as marketing or accounting — and only if the employee is able to make significant financial or business decisions.

Call one of our Atlanta Overtime Attorneys today at (404) 238-7299!

About the Author


When you reach out to us, you will receive a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled Atlanta employment attorneys. During our initial consultation with you, we can help you to better understand your rights and will work with you to determine what course of action is in your best interest. We take great pride in providing assistance based on years of experience negotiating and litigating employment matters to protect employee interests. If you find yourself in need of dedicated legal representation, we are prepared to advocate on your behalf – our goal is always to protect employee victims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.