I have a friend that launched a business last February. He took on a day job to come up with extra money to pay his employees while trying to boost his cash flow. Unfortunately, he found out that his employer was denying him overtime pay for several months, which amounted to $2,000 in lost revenue.
His experience is sadly not unique. Many entrepreneurs struggle to pay their bills during the first year or two. The problem is that their employers don’t always pay them what they truly deserve.
If you have to take a regular job to pay your bills while running a business, then you need to make sure that you are fairly compensated. Don’t write off the loss with the expectation that you will make up for it on the back end when your business is successful. You deserve to be paid what you are worth!
Understand Your Rights When You Are Working a Side Job
Every employee deserves to be paid for their work. And, per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers have to compensate non-exempt workers for any overtime worked. Overtime refers to any work hours that exceed 40 hours per week. There are many companies who fail to pay for overtime work, while some employers miscalculate the payment resulting in underpaid employees.
How is overtime pay calculated?
For every hour an employee works, the employer has to pay at least the state minimum wage ($9.30) and a minimum 1.5x rate for any overtime hours. If your employee hasn’t paid you for your overtime work, they may be violating state or federal law. However, employment laws are quite complicated and there are exemptions to overtime pay.
Get legal help:
Many feel hesitant to talk to their employer regarding overtime pay and if they do, very few get an accurate answer. You can handle this legally without worrying about termination or unfair treatment in the workplace. The first step is to talk with a lawyer about whether you can file a legal claim for unpaid overtime.
If you are looking for attorneys dealing with overtime litigation cases in New Jersey or New York, get in touch with The Sattiraju Law Firm. Their employment litigation attorneys have years of experience working in this area of practice. They will guide you to the best course of action. Schedule an appointment with them and get your case reviewed.
Penalty for unpaid wages:
If an employer fails to pay for overtime work, he/she is at risk of paying additional penalties. In addition to the unpaid wages, an extra penalty may be assessed by the court. Employees may be able to claim for liquidated damages, which can be used to cover financial loses like late charges and bounced checks.
Frequently asked questions:
Can my employer force me to work overtime?
Yes. Employers can force employees to work overtime and there is no legal limit on how many hours an employee is eligible to work. There is only a threshold limit beyond which overtime pay must be provided.
Industries with frequent wage violations:
- Hospital employees
- Medical support staff
- Police Officers
- Union Employees
- Exotic dancers
- Construction workers
- Restaurant workers
- Warehouse workers
Are salaried workers not entitled to overtime payment?
There are exceptions. It depends on how much you make a week and the type of work you do. Overtime payment doesn’t apply to certain white-collar professionals. Hourly, non-exempt employees can claim for overtime.
Can I claim overtime payment if I stay back for cleaning up the store after my shift ends?
Infrequent and insignificant amount of work wouldn’t count as overtime work. If you are spending about 20 minutes every night after work to clean up, it qualifies for work. Regularly recurring work is usually considered for compensation.
Does an employer have the right to fire an employee who has sued for unpaid wages?
An employee cannot resort to any form of retaliation for suing against him/her. A few examples of retaliation are: blacklisting the employee, refusing employment for those who have previously filed a claim for unpaid wages, reducing job responsibilities, refusing raises etc.
Always Know Your Rights on Overtime Pay
Learn your rights as an employee. If you are eligible for overtime payment and it has been denied, you have the right to take the issue to court.