When an employee takes a job, he or she expects to be paid on time and in full for the work performed. This includes compensation for overtime hours they work. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets out the requirements for overtime pay.
Employees who are covered by the FLSA must be paid at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay if they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. A workweek is defined as any time an employee is required to be at work.
The employer must keep detailed records about its employees. This includes identifying information about the employee, data about the hours they worked and the wages they earned, their regular hourly pay rate, their total straight-time earnings and total overtime earnings for the workweek. The records must be accurate and must be made available for inspection, which may apply in situations where an employer has failed to pay overtime.
An employer may be in violation of the FLSA if it does not pay an employee for job-related work or training outside of regular working hours, allows an employee to answer job-related calls, texts or emails when he or she is supposed to be on a break or at lunch, or asking the employee to sign an agreement waiving overtime pay.
An employer also cannot average workweeks, meaning that if an employee works fewer than 40 hours one week and more than 40 hours the next, the employer cannot average the two to avoid paying overtime.
If an employee needs assistance to pursue overtime pay, an experienced attorney can explain their options.