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Many employees don’t realize that they are being underpaid when it comes to overtime pay. They simply assume that they are being compensated accordingly. However, WageAdvocates.com notes that year after year, countless workers learn that their employers are taking advantage of them and cheating them out of money that they rightfully earned. There are a number of ways that employers cut wages illegally. To help you better understand what to look for, check out some of the examples below.
Many individuals working in hospital settings have to remain on-call. Depending on what facility you work for, some even have on-call rooms where the employees can sleep, watch television, read or just chat. Most of the time, these employees have to stay onsite and aren’t allowed to leave.
This restricts their freedom and is required in their line of work. As such, these individuals who are spending idle time at the hospital on-call should have that time counted as hours worked or overtime.
As an employee, you should be aware that spending idle time at the hospital on-call should count toward the number of hours you worked. As long as you are on hospital grounds and waiting to work, you should be getting paid.
Not Being Classified Correctly
One of the most common wage violation rules occurs when employers don’t classify their employees properly. While there are certain types of employees who are exempt from the overtime pay requirements set forth by The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), that doesn’t apply to everyone. Even though some managers, administrators, or professionals aren’t entitled to overtime pay, many are. In essence, many retail store managers have a right to receive overtime pay. To be exempt from overtime pay, you have to actually be managing and having a constructive impact on key decisions like hiring and firing.
Even though you might have been given the title of manager, that isn’t enough. Until you are working in a managerial capacity, your employer owes you overtime pay. If your employer says they don’t have to pay you overtime because you are a manager, they better make sure you are doing typical managerial duties, such as hiring, supervising, firing, training, and so on.
Labeling Employees As Independent Contractors
With more and more business owners contracting out some part of their operation, it is more important than ever that you classify your employees and independent contractors properly. Employees are entitled to receive overtime pay, whereas, an independent contractor isn’t. An employee is dependent on the employer’s business for their income. An independent contractor is financially independent from any business they are working for at the time. These individuals are in business for themselves.
If you are working for someone and depend on them to pay your monthly expenses every month, they are your employer. You are only an independent contractor if you work for yourself and have your own set of guidelines. When you are following the guidelines of an employer, you are their employee and should be compensated as such.If you aren't getting the overtime you deserve because of something or another not being done right, you need to consult an attorney who can help you get the money you deserve.Click To Tweet
Not Tracking Hours Properly
Time clocks are often used in an attempt to track an employee’s hours. While an early clock-in or late clock-out doesn’t often count toward your total working hours, it can if you are performing your normal duties of the day. Clocking in before or after your scheduled time isn’t a big deal, as long as you aren’t doing any work for the company before your actual shift starts. If your employer is demanding that you set up, close down or clean before or after you are clocked in for the day, you are being under-compensated for your work.
Pay attention to your hours when you clock in or out. If the time clock is rounding your hours, you could be losing money. If your employer asks you to start working before you are on the clock, make sure you take a minute to clock in first. Otherwise, they are getting free labor from you and costing you your overtime pay.
Gifts and Bonuses
A non-discretionary bonus is given to employees who meet certain requirements. If the payment is above and beyond the typical base wage for the employee, the employer should be using it to determine their actual hourly wage. That is crucial in that the regular rate is what is used to calculate the employee’s overtime rate.
Discretionary bonuses are a gift that comes out of the blue and isn’t factored into your regular rate. If you expect to receive a Christmas bonus, that will often fall under the non-discretionary category, even if the employer didn’t promise to give you one in the first place. This is why it is so important to determine what type of bonus you received.
If you aren’t getting the overtime you deserve because of something or another not being done right, you need to consult an attorney who can help you get the money you deserve. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get the compensation you worked for in the first place. Don’t allow your employer to take advantage of you in situations that result in you working overtime.