Employers around the country are cutting every possible corner to decrease their payroll budgets and increase their profits. To achieve this goal, these employers often require or allow employees to perform “off-the-clock” work without pay, even threatening employees with discipline for reporting their overtime work. This unlawful conduct often deprives employees of their legally-owed wages, including overtime pay.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) defines the term “employ” to include the words “suffer or permit to work.” Suffer or permit to work means that if an employer requires or allows employees to work, the time spent is generally hours worked.
Thus, time spent doing work not requested by the employer, but still allowed, is generally hours worked, since the employer knows or has reason to believe that the employees are continuing to work and the employer is benefiting from the work being done. This time is commonly referred to as “working off the clock.” Not surprisingly, many employers look the other way and reap the benefit of this off-the-clock work without paying for it. This is unlawful.
Many employers will pay a salary or flat rate for all hours worked, hoping they can avoid paying overtime for an employee’s long hours. This is unlawful unless the employee’s job duties fit squarely within a limited exemption under the law.
Exemptions are determined based on each specific employment situation. Job titles alone do not determine the exempt or non-exempt status of any employee. Call the attorneys at Davis George Mook at 816-569-2629 to determine whether you have been misclassified and are entitled to overtime.
bOnuses & incentive pay
The FLSA requires employers to calculate overtime based on an employee’s regular rate of pay. An employee’s “regular rate of pay” is an hourly rate that includes all compensation paid to the employee during the workweek, with certain exceptions. Among these exceptions is the payment of a discretionary bonus.
Non-discretionary bonuses, on the other hand, must be included in an employee’s regular rate of pay when computing overtime. Whether a bonus is non-discretionary (or discretionary) depends on the circumstances relating to the bonus; but when an employer regularly offers a bonus that an employee has come to expect, or where the bonus is in any way promised to an employee such as by announcing it earlier in the year, the bonus will be considered non-discretionary. Examples of non-discretionary bonuses include attendance bonuses, production bonuses, and bonuses for quality of work.
If you received a bonus payment or incentive pay, and this payment was not included in your overtime rate, call the attorneys at Davis George Mook at 816-569-2629 to determine whether you are owed additional overtime wages.