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Employee Overtime Pay Law and the Rights of Workers
- Issue: Overtime pay improperly denied
Employee Overtime Law in a Nutshell
All employees who don't fit within certain narrow "exemptions" to overtime pay laws are entitled to get paid for every hour of overtime they work. Overtime is defined as work over 40 hours in a week under federal law, and has slightly different definitions under various state laws. These federal and state overtime pay laws exist to ensure that companies don't force employees to work long hours without compensation, and to incentivize companies to employ more people to combat unemployment.
Job Titles Are Not Determinative Of Overtime Eligibility
Under the law, your job title doesn't matter. So being called a manager, an engineer, a specialist, a professional, or any other particular title does not determine your eligibility for overtime. Similarly, an employer classifying you as "salaried" or "exempt from overtime" does not prevent you from getting overtime. In many cases, employers have misclassified employees to deprive them of overtime pay. However, your eligibility for overtime depends on what you are actually doing in your job.
What Determines If You Should Receive Overtime Pay
The following is a very basic overview of how you can tell if you should be getting overtime pay. If you have specific questions about your eligibility for overtime and whether your employer has illegally deprived you of deserved overtime, please feel free to contact an employment attorney at Lieff Cabraser for a free, 100% confidential review of your situation.
Importance of Discretion
If you exercise discretion in performing your job you are likely not entitled to overtime pay. Discretion includes things like setting policies and making creative decisions.
However, if your freedom of decisionmaking is constrained by procedures, instructions, policies, or reporting requirements, you may be entitled to overtime pay. Similarly, if you follow client or management instructions, or do repetitive tasks, you may be entitled to overtime pay.
And remember, even though your employer can call you whatever it wants, only a court has the final say about whether you should be getting overtime pay.
There are several factors that determine whether an employee is eligible for overtime:
|Positive Factors |
(likely to get OT)
(unlikely to get OT)
Contact Lieff Cabraser
Lieff Cabraser has successfully represented thousands of workers in overtime pay lawsuits against some of the nation's most prominent corporations, including IBM, Wells Fargo, and AT&T. We have collected over $100 million in overtime pay and interest for our clients.
If you have questions or want to know more about your rights, please use this form to contact an employee rights attorney at Lieff Cabraser, or call employee rights attorney Jahan Sagafi toll-free at 1-800-541-7358 for a free, confidential, no-obligation review of the facts of your case.