Common FAQs – Wage Theft
1. MY EMPLOYER CLASSIFIES ME AS EXEMPT AND DOES NOT PAY ME OVERTIME, BUT EACH OF MY PAYCHECKS SHOWS THAT I WORKED A CERTAIN NUMBER OF HOURS. DOESN’T THIS MEAN THAT THEY ARE PAYING ME HOURLY AND I AM SUPPOSED TO RECEIVE OVERTIME? WHAT CAN I DO?
Many employers use accounting/payroll systems that include a number of hours on a paycheck for payroll purposes, and not to represent an actual number of hours worked. Simply because a number of hours is listed on a paycheck does not mean you should be receiving overtime. However, whether you are entitled to overtime is a more in-depth analysis and you should contact us to understand whether you should be receiving overtime.
2. MY BOSS TELLS ME THAT SHE DOES NOT HAVE ANY OVERTIME LEFT IN HER LABOR BUDGET, BUT I NEED TO CLOCK OUT AND FINISH MY WORK ANYWAY. SHOULDN’T I BE PAID FOR MY WORK?
Yes. This is called “off-the-clock” work. If you are working more than 40 hours in a week on-the-clock, and you are asked to perform additional work off-the-clock, then you may have claims for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Your boss may be asking you to work off-the-clock because she does not want to get in trouble with her superior, or she may be trying to keep the labor costs down by not paying you overtime. Whatever the reason, it violates the law.
3. I AM A NON-EXEMPT EMPLOYEE (I AM ENTITLED TO OVERTIME WHEN I WORK MORE THAN 40 HOURS IN A WEEK) AND I WORKED 50 HOURS LAST WEEK AND 30 HOURS THIS WEEK. MY BOSS WANTS TO MOVE 10 HOURS FROM WEEK ONE INTO WEEK TWO IN ORDER TO EVENLY SPLIT THE WEEKS INTO 40 HOURS EACH. IS THIS WRONG?
Yes. This likely violates the Fair Labor Standards Act. Your boss is doing this because he does not want to pay you overtime for the week in which you worked 50 hours. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, each week is counted independently. While you did work 80 hours between the two weeks, you actually earned 10 hours of overtime in week one and you should be paid for that overtime. If you are not paid for that overtime, then the employer likely violated the law.
4. MY EMPLOYER TELLS ME THAT I AM AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. HE DOES NOT TAKE TAXES OUT OF MY PAYCHECKS AND HE ALSO DOES NOT PAY ME OVERTIME. I THINK I AM ENTITLED TO MY OVERTIME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
To determine whether you are an independent contractor or an employee, the analysis typically comes down to the economic reality of the relationship between you and your employer and whether that relationship demonstrates dependence. Many of the factors in this analysis are listed on this website in “Independent Contractors.” If your employer is misclassifying you as an independent contractor and you are working overtime, it is required to pay for your overtime pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.