You have likely heard stories of people working late nights and long hours without receiving any extra pay for overtime. While this practice may exist in some workplaces, it is illegal in most countries, and employers who do not pay for overtime can face fines or other penalties.
Overtime typically applies when an employee works over 40 hours in a work week. Any hours worked after 40 are considered overtime and should be paid at a higher rate than regular wages. The exact amount of this wage increase depends on your area, but it is generally 1.5 times the normal wage rate. This rate could also be higher if you are part of a union or subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
When Are Employees Not Entitled to Overtime?
In some cases, employees may not be eligible for overtime, regardless of how many hours they work each week. This usually applies to managers and executives who are expected to put in long hours but may not be eligible for higher rates due to their position. Other workers, such as independent contractors, may also not qualify for overtime since they do not have employer-employee relationships with the company.
How Can Employees Get What They Are Owed?
If you believe you are entitled to unpaid overtime wages, you should contact your employer directly and ask them why you have not been paid overtime wages. If the issue persists, then you can take legal action by filing a complaint with your local labor department or hiring a lawyer who has experience in employment law cases. It is important that you act quickly, as there is usually a time limit on filing these types of claims.
Depending upon the severity of an employer’s violations, employers may face criminal charges or civil fines and penalties imposed by federal or state agencies, such as the Department of Labor (DOL) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The DOL has authority under both federal and state law to investigate complaints filed by employees concerning unpaid wages and other forms of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, ability, and other protected classes. The EEOC enforces anti-discrimination laws within workplaces across America and investigates complaints.
If either agency finds evidence that an employer has violated labor laws, then those employers may face fines.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Can Help Protect Your Rights at Work
In many cases, you are entitled to overtime pay. If your employer is withholding that pay from you, you may have legal options. To find out your rights, speak with one of our South Jersey employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today. Contact us at 215-569-1999 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, and Montgomery County.