The unfortunate reality is that many employers often utilize tactics to unfairly reduce the amount they pay their workers. These tactics, which are often unlawful, may include withholding overtime pay for workers who have earned it.
- Miscategorizing workers: An employer may miscategorize workers so that they are not eligible for overtime pay. They may misclassify employees as contractors or non-exempt employees as exempt. When workers do not realize they have been misclassified, they can miss out on significant sums of money for overtime worked.
- Requiring employees to work off the clock: Having workers perform job duties before clocking in or after clocking out means having them work for free. This can be a common practice in industries like food service and retail with opening or closing duties. If an employer instructs an employee to perform tasks while not on the clock, they could be withholding wages.
- Making employees work during breaks: When you are on a break, you should not work. If your employer asks or expects you to perform work, like answering phones or responding to emails while on break, this is working time and should be compensated as such.
- Improperly tracking hours: No matter how diligent you may be when tracking your hours, they may not all be counting if your employer is not maintaining accurate records. Whether you clock in and out with a digital system or by signing in, keeping your own records on your work hours can help you spot inconsistencies.
Always remember that you deserve to be paid fairly for all of the work that you do. And when it comes to overtime, working more than 40 hours should mean receiving time-and-a-half for those hours. If your employer utilizes these or other tactics to misrepresent the time you are working, you could have a case for unpaid overtime.