An Overtime Attorney Can Help Make Sense of Overtime Complexities The complexities of employment are limitless due to the wide variety of employment opportunities as well as Federal and state regulations regulating it, making consulting an overtime attorney almost a necessity whenever a question concerning overtime payment arises. Even employers who are making the effort to comply with the law often run afoul of it inadvertently. Employers trying to keep their companies running in uncertain economic times can sometimes make changes in their personnel and policies that cause them to fall out of compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and state overtime for exempt employees laws. Others have been known to purposefully withhold validly earned wages and overtime pay counting on their employees’ lack of knowledge to protect them.The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted to protect the rights of employees to receive premium overtime compensation for working more than 40 hours per week. Overtime lawsuits are especially common today because of the poor economic climate, growing employee awareness, and the complexities of the marketplace as well as the FLSA and other state overtime laws. If you think your employer may owe you for unpaid overtime, the best way to find out if your case may be winnable is to completely fill out our Case Evaluation Form-one of our experienced overtime lawyers will be happy to help you evaluate your situation. Time is money. Overtime is money times 1.5. Vacations and holidays are money for which no work is done. Then there’s sick leave, maternity leave, jury duty, and all kinds of other time away from the job.
It’s no wonder that time at work, time away from work, and the accrual of various periods of time off are of concern to employers and employees. And, it does indeed get confusing. There is basically one federal law which regulates time, The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (which also regulates child labor), but many states have their own regulations which go beyond federal law. So, in addition to trying to figure out who is exempt or not exempt (nonexempt) from that federal law, one must also make a determination as to who is exempt or not exempt from state regulations. As much as eighty percent of all questions regarding conditions of employment, e.g., hours of work, vacations, etc., have to do with overtime. While exemptions from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act are often difficult to understand (and determine), overtime regulations are fairly straight-forward but for some reason continue to create confusion. Failure to pay overtime is one of the leading causes of claims against employers, probably more than wrongful discharge, harassment, and stress combined. That of course is not so unusual since potential problems with overtime come with every pay period. Employers and employees have so many questions regarding and a stake in overtime laws that a chart of the various state laws seems appropriate. Below is a listing of each state and the District of Columbia which displays the state law and the state labor agencies to contact if further information is needed. Federal law, which applies to almost all businesses involved in interstate commerce, is usually applied when states do not have their own overtime regulations. Therefore, many businesses which are not affected by interstate commerce laws – restaurants for example – would be exempt from overtime provisions of the federal law. If there is no state law as well, then there are no overtime provisions. The reader should note that there are many exemptions to the state laws and wage orders. Examples: In Arkansas, employees who work for hotels, motels and restaurants do no receive overtime until they work in excess of 48 hours in a week; employment law attorney in Maryland who work for amusement parks or recreational establishments are exempt from the overtime laws; in Ohio, special rules apply to county workers; and in Pennsylvania, salespersons, parts men and mechanics in retail car dealerships as well as taxi drivers, radio and television news editors and announcers are exempt from the overtime provisions. In other words, every state with overtime laws has exemptions having nothing to do with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Other articles on this site which attempt to clarify issues regarding exemptions are Salaried But Still Nonexempt and A Title and 37¢ Will Buy You a Stamp and Docking Exempt Employees.