Rough economic times, poor management, and opportunistic employers are among the many reasons that workers should keep a close eye on overtime pay law in their state. An increasing number of settlements regarding overtime pay have made this topic one of vital importance in the modern workplace. If you want to make sure that you are fairly compensated, staying alert is the best practice.
The struggling economy that has characterized the US for the past few years has led to some nasty financial behavior on the part of employers and managerial staff. With or without realizing it, many employers are pushing too hard, cheating the system in order to save a buck or two. The result has been a growing number of court cases and legal settlements regarding overtime pay law. When financial times are tough, even the most honest individuals can be tempted to behave in less than ethical ways. Survival instinct can push people to squeeze a little extra cash out of nowhere – by ‘forgetting’ to pay overtime, or by abusing company overtime policies in order to conserve company funds and keep unknowing employees from getting their due.
Managers in many industries try to find ways to scrape a few extra dollars out of their employees by creating an atmosphere of fear among employees. Additionally, some HR staff or managerial team members just aren’t adept or informed when it comes to applying overtime policies.
If you aren’t sure if your employer is following legal requirements, the first thing to do is to make sure that you understand local, state, and Federal overtime pay laws and regulations. The second is to familiarize yourself with the overtime policy that your company has in place. It is important to note that many companies require there to be approved overtime requests before they will approve additional pay – be sure to follow all company protocols to the letter to make sure you earn what is fair for the work you have done. If company overtime pay policy is not in line with the law, it’s time to talk to an attorney.
If you feel that you have been forced to work unpaid overtime hours at your workplace, be sure to contact someone that can help you sort through the overtime pay law. Just because the economy isn’t performing well, employers do not have the right to abuse the law.