The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) puts non-negotiable and non-waivable obligations on employers. One of those obligations is to pay employees an overtime rate of time and a half (1.5x) each employee’s regular rate for hours worked in excess of forty (40) in a workweek unless the employee falls within an exemption from that legal requirement.
Companies often attempt to excuse their unlawful payment schemes by blaming the employee. It is not the employee’s fault when a company does not pay overtime at one and a half times the regular rate of pay. It does not matter if the employee agreed—either orally or in writing—to accept a lower rate of pay for overtime hours. It does not matter if the employee asked for a lower rate of pay for overtime hours. It does not matter if the employee does not record working overtime hours, and it certainly does not matter if the employee does not request to be paid at an overtime rate. If the employee is legally entitled to overtime pay, then it is the employer’s responsibility and obligation to pay the employee overtime pay.
These principles hold true even if the employer tries to argue that the agreement was more beneficial to the employee than properly paying overtime. This sort of manipulation is a tactic employers use when they try to claim that they only permit overtime on the condition that it is not paid at an overtime rate. Thus, the employee feels compelled to accept the lower rate to get the extra hours. The FLSA is precisely designed to protect employees from this sort of manipulation by their employers. Employers cannot avoid their liability by blaming the employee for agreeing to not accept overtime or for blaming the employee for not asking for overtime.
If you have any further questions about whether you are entitled to overtime pay, the Wage Authority Group is awaiting your call.
Image link: https://pixabay.com/en/building-professional-employee-2762241/