Both hourly workers and non-exempt salaried workers should receive overtime wages if they work more than 40 hours in one workweek. However, given that overtime wages cost a company at least 150% of what they usually pay that employee, they may be eager to avoid that responsibility.
There are multiple tactics that companies may employ to try to avoid fulfilling their obligation to their employees.
They may demand that employees work off the clock
Workers should get paid for the time that they are at a place of business and performing work. However, companies may ask workers to do prep work, cleaning or closing duties off the clock, meaning they regularly work without being paid for their time. Even if everyone at the company does the unpaid work, that doesn’t make it right for your employer to demand what is essentially wage theft.
They claim they can deny overtime because of company policy
Some corporations have rules that no one can receive overtime pay without management approval. However, if the company has the worker scheduled for more than 40 hours, they cannot deny overtime pay for the hours worked after the employee has already done the work.
They change time clock records
Some managers will go back over an employees time clock records and make small changes to when they started and ended their shifts to reduce the total number of hours that they worked. This form of wage theft can be particularly hard to catch if you don’t maintain your own independent records of when you started and stopped each shift.
Workers unfairly denied their overtime wages can potentially bring wage claims against their employers. It’s important to learn more about the law and your rights.