Employees have a duty to their employers, but this comes with the responsibility of the employer to ensure fair compensation in salaries and wages. While many people seeking employment would love to learn how to get an entry level job with no experience, the reality is the job market is competitive. In the highly competitive economic environment today, the primary reason why a worker would be willing to go beyond their basic responsibilities is to have better compensation at the end of the day. By taking on extra work hours beyond what is typically the limit, every worker deserves overtime payment. While every employer who pays overtime knows this, many employers have implemented various strategies to undermine this mandate, which consequently results in unhappy workers.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 clearly specifies that the standard work period for workers is 40 hours a week. All hours worked above limit this is considered overtime and should be compensated as such. However, there are special exemptions. These exemptions apply to employees who perform supervisory work, those involved in high-level business decision making, and work that requires an advanced degree. Still, a lot of companies have discovered underhand techniques which they use to keep their non-exempt employees underpaid while demanding a lot of work hours from them.
On the bright side, the law provides workers with relief against such abuses so that they are not left at the mercy of employers. Any employee who has worked overtime and didn't get paid or was underpaid can always turn to worker’s compensation attorneys to help them through the challenging period. This is especially true when all efforts to have the management resolve the problem have been made and turned down, or if it is the norm for the company not to pay for extra hours demanded.
However, there is also the mandate for you as the worker to ensure that before taking legal action there is clear documentation of all the extra hours one has worked. This is because allegations can easily be downplayed when there is a lack of official documentation to back the claim. Missing documentation can easily become a primary point of focus. Seasoned attorneys who have handled lots of workers compensations will make this clear the first time you contact them and can provide a guideline to having these all-important documents. For salaried employees, it is always a tricky situation because of the exemption factor, but there are measures which can be taken to validate a claim.
Contrary to what many workers believe, employers actually have the right to ask for overtime and in doing so have not broken any rule. It only becomes a concern when one has worked those extra hours to the company only for them to fail to honor their obligation — which is paying for overtime. The main job types where overtime is an issue include construction workers, medical support staff, factory workers, bookkeepers, public sector employees, warehouse workers, and restaurant/casino workers. Regardless of whether the employer does not pay at all or makes deliberate errors to underpay, you can take action to get justice by hiring the right lawyer.