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How Employers Get Workers to Work Overtime Without Paying Them Overtime Wages

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Employment Dec 05, 2018

rubbing eyes working at nightOne of the most common ways employers cheat their workers out of overtime pay is by classifying them as exempt from overtime when they are non-exempt employees. However, there are many other things employers do to get their workers to work more than 40 hours in a week without receiving overtime pay.

Below, learn about some of the tricks employers use to deny workers the overtime wages they are entitled. The dedicated employment lawyers in Maryland at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices can discuss the circumstances concerning your case to determine if you may have a viable unpaid overtime claim against your employer.

Misclassifying a Worker as an Independent Contractor

Misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor is a common way that employers try to avoid paying overtime pay and minimum wage. Independent contractors are not technically considered employees. Independent contractors may sign an agreement designating them in this role. However, if challenged, other factors may be considered to determine if a person is really an employee, such as:

  • Whether the worker must follow company rules, including time rules
  • Whether the worker can work for other companies
  • Whether the worker sets his or her own schedule
  • Whether the worker can delegate work

Some employers may have employees sign independent contractor agreements, but these individuals may still be entitled to overtime pay.

Requiring Workers to Work Off the Clock

Another trick that employers may use to get out of paying employees overtime pay is requiring them to work off the clock. For example, employers may require employees to get to the job site before their official hours to start their computers or equipment or to open up a store. They may be required to stay late to take care of final customers or work over lunch while they are clocked out.

Call center workers may be required to take the last call of the day that may go past their scheduled time to clock out. This time can add up, often resulting in 10 to 30 minutes of unpaid time per day.

Combining Non-Exempt Duties

Some employers may combine exempt and non-exempt duties. To save money, they do not hire non-exempt employees and simply transfer these duties to exempt employees. The worker may be required to perform twice the amount of work while not receiving any additional pay. For example, a manager may also have to act as a receptionist. These workers may be entitled to overtime pay.

Requiring You to Volunteer

Sometimes companies get involved in charity or civic volunteer work. They may ask employees for help with this work, but they usually do not require you to go. However, if you are required to participate, your work will be supervised by your employer, or there will be consequences for you not volunteering, you may be entitled to overtime pay.

Expecting Employees to Always Be On-Call

With cellphones and other technology today, the lines between work time and free time are more blurred than ever. Employees may be expected to constantly be on call and may not get any real free time.

Employees may be entitled to be paid during on-call time. An employment lawyer can review the circumstances of your case to determine if you may be entitled to pay. He or she can examine policies in place, such as you being required to stay within a certain number of miles from the office, that you are required to promptly return calls, or that you are required to complete other work during this “off” time.

Contact an Experienced Employment Lawyer for Assistance

You are entitled to time-and-a-half for any overtime hours you worked. If you think that your employer used one of these tricks to avoid paying you the wages you deserve and you would like to learn about your rights, contact the Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices for assistance.

Our experienced employment law attorneys can discuss your rights during a free case review. We can explain the different legal options that you have available. We charge no upfront fees or costs and work on a contingency fee, so if we do not win, you do not pay.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call us at 410-244-7005.

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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