Myths Employees May Believe About Overtime Laws

weekly time sheetEmployees are often unsure of their rights under state and federal overtime laws. They might know some basic things about overtime pay, but they still believe myths about overtime exemptions and violations of overtime laws.

We have compiled a list of misconceptions about overtime laws and explain why these ideas are wrong. It is vital for employees to know the law to find out if and when their rights may have been violated.

Call one of our experienced Sacramento wage and hour lawyers to discuss an unpaid overtime claim. Our experienced attorneys are ready to help you recover the wages you were denied and other damages. The initial consultation is free and comes with no obligation to take legal action.

Who is Eligible for Overtime?

Employees often do not understand how detailed the criteria are for overtime eligibility and exemptions. Eligibility is not just about your job title or how much you are paid.

Some of the common misconceptions about overtime eligibility include:

Job Titles Determine Eligibility

Overtime eligibility is not about your job title. The key factor is what you do each day and how much you are paid. You are not exempt from overtime pay unless your job fits within an overtime exemption. Otherwise, you are probably eligible for overtime if you work more than 40 hours in a week.

There are many employees who are ineligible for overtime because their title includes the word “manager” or “senior.” However, these employees’ job duties may fit within the administrative exemption:

  • Employee receives a minimum of $684 per week in salary
  • Primary duties include office or non-manual work that is directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or employer’s customers
  • These employees must also use discretion and independent judgment related to matters of significance

Salaried Employees are Ineligible for Overtime

Being paid on salary is a part of many overtime exemptions. However, this is just one criteria and employees must meet other criteria to be overtime exempt.

Sometimes employees get paid on salary, but their job duties do not change much. If these employees get classified as overtime exempt, it is likely a misclassification.

If you have questions about your overtime eligibility, review your daily tasks and the criteria of overtime exemptions.

You Cannot Get Overtime Pay if You are an Independent Contractor

Independent contractors are ineligible for overtime, but some workers are classified as contractors when they are employees.

Do You Need Permission to Work Overtime Hours?

Employers may inform you in writing, verbally or through an email that you must get permission to work overtime hours. The truth is you are entitled to overtime if you are overtime eligible, and you work more than 40 hours in a week. Your employer is required to pay you overtime. It is their responsibility to monitor employees to ensure they do not work overtime hours.

Off-the-Clock Work

Off-the-clock work has become quite common. Sometimes workers need to stay a few minutes later or arrive early to get set up. For example, some employees may need to put on gear or a uniform or clean up a workstation.

Sometimes working through breaks or rarely taking breaks becomes part of the culture of a workplace. This does not excuse the denial of overtime pay to eligible employees. While your employer may not force you to do off-the-clock work, they are still required to provide overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours. Your employer can put a stop to off-the-clock work.

Average of Hours Worked

Employers like to average your hours worked over two weeks, so it looks like you did not work more than 40 hours in a week. This is against the law. You should be paid for any overtime hours worked if you are eligible for overtime.

Contact Arnold Law Firm to Schedule a Free Consultation

You can meet with our attorneys risk-free because the initial consultation is free. You are also not obligated to take legal action after meeting with us.

We are prepared to guide you throughout the legal process with no upfront fees.

Arnold Law Firm is here to help. Call 916-777-7777.