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Tactics Used by Employers to Deny Workers Overtime Pay

Employees in the U.S. are protected by federal and state laws against employment discrimination, especially where wage and overtime pay are the issues. Besides the anti- discrimination laws, there are also laws that specifically specify the lawful number of working hours within a week, the minimum wage, who can render overtime work and the computation for overtime pay.

The Wages and Hours Bill, more commonly known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which the U.S. Congress passed into law in 1938, is the specific ordinance that mandates both private and public employers on just wages. But while the federal law may determine the minimum wage employees across the nation ought to receive, state laws may also determine an amount which may be higher (never lower) than the federally stated daily minimum pay.

Despite the federal law, in general, and the state law, in particular, many employees, especially undocumented workers, are robbed of the right to receive the lawful minimum pay by stubborn employers and, to get away with their acts that clearly violate the minimum wage law, employers hint on the consequence of firing anyone who may have any intent of complaining (with regard to undocumented workers, employers usually raise the issue of illegal immigration and the threat of deportation).

Employees deprived of their right to receive the minimum hourly pay determined by the government or by their state (whichever amount is higher), should never hesitate about raising a complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or filing a private civil lawsuit against their employer. These same employees should also know that, contrary to their fear of being fired or being denied of the benefits due to them if they complain, the law is on their side, protecting them even from any retaliatory acts thought of by their employer or whoever the employer may think of using to perform the retaliatory acts.

As explained by the law firm Williams Kherkher, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) outlines rules employers must follow when paying employees. The FLSA defines what overtime pay is, when employees must be paid an overtime rate, and which employees are eligible for overtime. Unfortunately, many businesses in many different industries routinely make efforts to deny workers the overtime pay they are entitled to. There are various ways employers accomplish this, including but not limited to:

  • Misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime pay;
  • Miscalculating hours worked; or,
  • Illegally requiring employees to perform tasks or travel “off the clock”.

If you believe that your employer is withholding overtime pay that you are owed, know that you can recover your back wages.

 

 

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