Every day, a sizable number of workers perform unpaid overtime work. Often, these workers are paid a salary and are considered by their employers to be “exempt,” meaning that they are not entitled to overtime. This is not always the case.
Salaried Employees are not Always Exempt
The advantages of being a salaried employee are well-known. Employees receive a fixed weekly salary regardless of the amount of work performed. The downside is that salaried employees are usually expected to work overtime, as required. This can amount to many overtime hours over the course of a year. It’s been estimated that the average worker puts in 365 hours of unpaid overtime in a year.
In order to determine whether or not a particular job is exempt, it would be necessary to consult labor law attorneys in Northampton, MA. Repair technicians, paralegals, secretaries, assistant managers and many others may or may not be legally exempt. Receiving a salary does not automatically mean that the employee is not entitled to get overtime pay.
Independent Contractors Could be Entitled to Overtime
Employers may purposely misclassify their employees as independent contractors and issue them 1099s so as not to pay overtime or employment taxes. However, if the worker is a full-time employee and is paid an hourly wage, then that worker qualifies as an employee and is thus entitled to be paid overtime.
The Most Common Overtime Violations
The most common overtime violations usually involve one of the following:
* classifying an employee as exempt, who is not;
* not counting all of the hours that the employee works; and
* miscalculating the wages due to the employee.
Employees can be misclassified as exempt by using a job title such as “manager” or “assistant manager” when there is no difference between their duties and the duties of the employees who supposedly report to them. Prerequisites for an “exempt” classification for a white-collar employee require that discretion and independent judgment be required for their jobs, which may not be the case. Also, if an “exempt” employee has their pay docked for working fewer hours, or productivity or performance issues, then that may not be an exempt position.
Connor, Morneau & Olin, LLP are labor law attorneys in Northampton, MA, with the experience required to successfully defend unpaid overtime cases. Anyone who believes that they have been unfairly deprived of overtime pay should schedule a consultation with one of these attorneys. Contact visit us website to learn more.
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