Can Employers Require Their Employees to Work Overtime Hours?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Unpaid Overtime May 19, 2021

working overtime concept photoFor many people, 40 hours is the bare minimum number of hours they work in a week. They have so much to do it is just not possible to get everything done in 40 hours.

While many employees in this situation are exempt from federal overtime laws, some are not, which means they must receive overtime compensation for all hours worked over 40 in a week.

If you regularly work overtime hours, there are some things you should know about your rights and your employer’s responsibilities. For example, can an employer require you to work overtime? What if you work overtime in violation of company rules?

If you believe you were wrongfully denied overtime pay, give our firm a call to schedule a free legal consultation with an unpaid overtime lawyer. We have helped many employees recover unpaid overtime.

What You Need to Know About Working Overtime

Your employer can require you to work overtime, but you must be paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 in a week. It is illegal to force you to clock out and then work overtime hours off the books.

If you would prefer not to work overtime hours, this is something you could discuss with your employer. You could also look for a different job that does not require overtime hours.

It is also illegal to give employees so much work that they will not be able to complete it in 40 hours and not keep track of overtime hours. Employers are legally required to track the hours their employee work and pay overtime wages for overtime hours worked.

In fact, if you work over 40 hours despite an employer’s rule prohibiting it, they must still pay you time-and-a-half for the overtime hours you worked. Your employer would still be allowed to take disciplinary action against you, but the wages must still be paid.

Even though your employer would be required to pay you overtime wages, it is bad idea to exploit this. Breaking the rules could result in your termination from employment.

If you have concerns about the number of overtime hours a job may require, you should investigate it before taking the job. It can be difficult to change these things after accepting a job. A good time to do this is after an offer of employment has been made, but before you have accepted it.

What if You Want to Fill in for Someone Else?

This often happens in the food service industry among servers. For example, another server may ask if you can fill in for him or her because of some other obligation. You can do this, but if doing so would put you over 40 hours for the week, you must inform your employer. Your employer must approve you working overtime.

Are You Exempt or Non-Exempt?

Overtime wage laws only apply to non-exempt workers. Exempt workers often put in more than 40 hours per week, but they are ineligible for overtime pay.

However, you should make sure your position qualifies for an exemption from federal overtime laws. Employers often misclassify workers as overtime-exempt when they are not.

For example, your job title may include the word manager, but you may not be exempt from overtime laws. Do you have the authority to hire or fire employees? Do you direct the work of other employees?

These are two of the criteria for an executive exemption from overtime laws. If your position does not fit these or other criteria under the executive exemption, you must be paid overtime wages for overtime hours worked.

Call Today for Assistance with Your Overtime Claim

Unsure if you have a valid case?

The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl has a proven track record of helping employees recover compensation when they were denied the wages they were owed under the law.

There is no cost or obligation to meet with us to discuss your claim. That means no risk in giving us a call to find out how we may be able to assist you.

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.



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