Most workers’ rights are covered by federal law that protects employees from being exploited or taken advantage of by their employer. One of the most important pieces of legislature covering the interest of workers, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), dictates the rights to fair wages and reasonable working hours.
The FLSA affects most employees who work over 40 hours in one week. Although it has been in effect for decades, both employees and employers are often confused about overtime laws. Some of the most common misconceptions include:
Professionals are not paid overtime.
Your job title will not determine whether you should receive overtime pay. Instead, whether you are considered exempt from receiving overtime pay depends on how much you earn in a week. If you make more than $455 per week, it is likely that you do not qualify for overtime.
Salary employees do not get overtime.
Salary employees are usually exempt from overtime laws, but the exemption has more to do with how much they make rather than the fact that they’re on salary. If a salaried employee makes less than $455 per week, the individual should receive time-and-a-half for every hour worked over 40 hours that week.
Overtime can be averaged over a pay period of two weeks.
Overtime must be paid and calculated in the week that it was worked. It does not matter what the employers pay cycle may be. Hours are calculated on a per-week basis to determine overtime. The following weeks cannot “borrow” time if they are under 40 hours.
Forms of payment other than cash are not acceptable instead of overtime pay.
Your employer cannot offer you extra time off, free products or discounts on services instead of paying you overtime. Overtime must be paid in cash, which includes payments via check.
Your employer should provide you with fair compensation for every minute you work, which includes receiving time and a half for overtime pay. At Greg Coleman Law, we have a history of fighting for workers who receive poor treatment and unfair compensation from their employer. Our Knoxville personal injury attorneys are experienced in wage laws and will provide you with a free consultation to determine if you are entitled to compensation.