Most Common Overtime Mistakes


All non-exempt employees are entitled to pay 1.5 times the amount of their normal hourly wage for every hour worked in excess of a 40 hour work week. Unfortunately, employers and employees alike commonly misunderstand the criteria that make an employee exempt. Contrary to what many believe, employees who are paid on a salary basis are not automatically exempt from overtime pay, nor are all supervisors or managers. To be exempt from overtime pay, an employee must be classified as an executive, an administrator, or a professional.

Miscalculation or Failure to Calculate all Hours Worked

It is very common for employers to miscalculate an employee’s hours worked so that they can deny overtime pay. For example, they may fail to pay employees for short breaks, for training/meetings, and for some time spent traveling for work.

Requiring Pre-Approval of Overtime Hours

Employers may not deny employees overtime pay for hours worked in excess of a 40 hour work week because those employees did not get prior approval of overtime hours. Employees must be compensated for all hours they spend working.

Requiring Employees to Work Off the Clock

It is not uncommon for employers to “clock out” or work off the clock when they are close to exceeding a 40 hour work week. If an employer knows an employee is working, or reasonably should have known that employee was working, that employee must be paid for that time. This includes time spent setting up before work hours or cleaning up after work hours.

Failing to Honor Overtime Pay Rate

Some employers pay their employees for overtime hours, but at the employees’ regular hourly rate. By law, non-exempt employees must be paid “time-and-a-half”, or 1.5 times their hourly wage, for all hours over a 40 hour work week.

Contact an Experienced Overtime Lawyer

If you believe your boss has committed one of the above violations or another violation of federal or state overtime laws, you may be entitled to back pay and possible additional compensation. An experienced overtime lawyer from Phillips Dayes Law Firm can evaluate your situation to determine whether any laws were broken. Contact us today to schedule a free legal consultation.