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The Truth Behind Overtime Pay

Posted on behalf of Greg Coleman Law on Nov 26, 2014 in Employment Law

There is a lot of misinformation about who deserves overtime pay and when. Greg Coleman Law employment attorneys share some of the more common myths surrounding overtime pay.

When corrupt employers deny employees their fair wages, it is the same as stealing from their employees. Individuals who have worked hard to provide for their families should be not be taken advantage off.

There are four common myths about overtime pay that involve:

  • Salaried employees
  • What time work starts
  • Work taken home
  • Compensation time

Salaried Employees

There is a common myth that employees who receive a salary are not entitled to overtime pay. While this is generally true, there are some salaried employees that are entitled to overtime pay.

Salaried employees who make less than $455/week may be entitled to overtime pay. Also, salaried employees who make more than $455/week may be entitled to overtime pay if they perform work that does not fall under the exempt categories of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

If a human resources department denies you overtime pay without being able to explain exactly why you fail to qualify, consult with an attorney to ensure that your employment classification is correct. 

What Time Work Starts

There is also a common misconception that employees only begin working when they arrive at their work station. However, employees who spend time preparing to work, whether it is booting up their computers or putting on safety clothing, are entitled to pay for that time.

If an employee is not paid for that time, then the employer may be violating the FLSA and the employee may be losing out on overtime pay. Prep time, and winding down work during a work day counts towards the 40 hour limit. When the 40 hours are exceeded due to prep time and winding down time, employees may be entitled to overtime pay.

Work includes all of the time it takes to prepare and execute ones job duties.

Work Taken Home

Many employers take advantage of high performing workers who take work home. Non-exempt employees, namely employees who are not exempt from overtime pay according to the FLSA, are entitled to overtime pay for the time they spend at work.

This is true even if an employer has not encouraged the worker to work overtime.

Compensation Time

Employers who do not want to pay overtime will sometimes substitute overtime pay for comp time. Comp time, known formally as compensation time, is paid time off given to workers instead of providing them with overtime pay.

Under the FLSA, employers cannot legally provide comp time instead of overtime pay. While employers in the public sector, such as schools and other non-profit organizations can provide comp time, private employers usually cannot.

There are many different overtime pay myths floating around. Only an experienced attorney can explain your legal overtime pay rights.

Get Your Fair Wages: Tennessee Overtime Lawyers

If you think you are owed overtime pay, contact the fair labor wage lawyers at Greg Coleman Law. For decades, the firms attorneys have been helping employees throughout Tennessee assert their legal rights.

Call (865) 247-0080 today to find out how you may be able to hold your employer accountable. 

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