If you’re like a lot of blue-collar workers, then you’re probably frequently asked to work overtime. You might feel compelled to say “yes,” but then you’re disappointed when your paycheck doesn’t reflect the amount of pay you should have received. This happens all the time. Greedy employers take advantage of their employees in order to save a few bucks. This is totally unacceptable, which is why need to know your rights and how best to protect them.
Overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), workers who perform their job duties in excess of 40 hours per week are entitled to at least their regular hourly wage plus another 50% per hour. So, if you make $20 per hour, then you should be paid at least $30 per hour for all overtime worked. Sometimes questions arise as to what counts as a workweek, but the federal law is pretty clear. While a workweek doesn’t have to coincide with a calendar week, it does have to be fixed, meaning that your employer can’t change it on you. It also has to be seven straight 24-hour periods.
What about New York’s overtime laws?
Generally speaking, New York’s overtime laws mirror the federal laws. However, the state laws operate in conjunction with federal law instead of in place of it, and it provides some additional protection to workers. It’s worth noting that these workers are not entitled to their regular hourly rate plus 50% for each hour of overtime. Instead, they receive the state minimum wage plus 50%, regardless of how much they actually make per hour. While that might not sound like much, it can quickly add up over time, especially when an employer is claiming that federal law denies a worker that pay.
Stand up for yourself and for what is right
You shouldn’t have to be worried about being taken advantage of by your employer, but the sad reality is that employers mistreat their employees all the time, oftentimes resulting in unpaid wages. Don’t sit passively and let that happen to you. If you think that you’ve been wronged in the workplace, then it might be time to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney.