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Why Employees Often Do Not Report Unpaid Overtime

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Unpaid Overtime Feb 17, 2021

overtime written on noteIf you are a non-exempt employee and you work more than 40 hours in a week, you must be paid one-and-a-half times your regular rate of pay for every extra hour worked. Unfortunately, the burden of proof is often on workers, and they often do not report these kinds of wage violations.

Below, learn more about some of the reasons why unpaid overtime often goes unreported. Sometimes employees are simply scared to do anything, and other times employees may not know a wage violation has occurred.

If you were not paid the overtime wages you are owed, give us a call today to discuss the situation. Our unpaid overtime lawyers have helped many employees recover the wages they were owed. For example, we secured a settlement of $2.3 million for former M&T Bank employees who were denied overtime.

Fear of Retaliation

Even those who are in a good place financially and have confidence in being able to find another job get concerned about being fired. This is particularly true if you have been at your job for a significant amount of time and you are comfortable with it.

That may explain why employees are worried about their employers firing them in retaliation for reporting employment law violations, like unpaid overtime. It is easy to say retaliation for exercising your rights is against the law. However, if it happens, the employee will still need to fight back to remedy the situation. For some employees, the threat of retaliation may be enough to get them to back down.

For those living paycheck-to-paycheck, which describes many people in our society, losing their job or suffering some other form of retaliation that results in less take-home pay can be financially devastating. People could face eviction, repossession of their car, damage to their credit score or missed child support payments.

Not Knowing a Violation Occurred

Unfortunately, many people simply do not know when a violation has occurred. For example, employees are often misclassified as exempt from overtime pay. They may work overtime hours thinking they are exempt and not realize they have lost wages.

It is important to note employees do not become exempt from overtime pay simply because of their job title. Exemptions from overtime laws are based on the specifics of your job and the tasks you do and do not do.

Having the word “senior” or “management” in your title does not automatically mean you are exempt from overtime pay. If you receive substantial direction in your work and are not involved in hiring or firing other employees, it is unlikely you are exempt.

Thinking the Clock has Run Out

There is a deadline for filing a complaint about a wage violation. You must do so within two years of the violation, or three if it was a willful violation of the law by your employer.

In some ways, this is a significant amount of time. In other ways, this period could go by very quickly. Either way, it is important to contact an attorney right away, as it takes time to build a case. If you wait it may be difficult to accurately document the overtime hours you worked and the amount of money you are owed.

Trading Benefits for Overtime Hours

Trading overtime pay for vacation time or other benefits may sound like a good deal, but it is illegal for an employer to make this kind of trade.

Not Knowing How Much You Are Owed

Employees may be unsure of the number of hours they worked and the amount of money they are owed for those hours. However, employers are required to keep accurate records of these things.

Call Today for Help and Answers to Your Questions

Are you unsure if you may have a case for unpaid wages? Are you concerned about your employer retaliating against you for reporting unpaid wages?

These are all good reasons to give Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices a call. We have helped many employees who were denied overtime recover the wages that were rightfully theirs.

Your initial consultation is free of charge and there is no obligation to hire our firm to take legal action.  

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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