The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay all employees overtime pay at one-and-one-half times their regular pay rates for all hours worked over forty hours in a work week, unless the employee is exempt from overtime pay. The law allows no discretion to employers -- if an employee is entitled to overtime pay, the employer must pay as required or it can be held liable for the unpaid wages and for "liquidated damages" equal to the amount of unpaid wages.
The law does provide several exemptions that exclude certain types of employees from overtime pay. An employee who works in one of the covered categories is an "exempt employee" and is not entitled to overtime pay no matter how many hours he or she works. The exemptions are detailed and too fact specific for a detailed discussion here. Generally, though, an employee is exempt if he or she works in specified occupations (e.g., newspaper carriers, certain amusement park employees) or if the employee (1) is paid a salary of at least $455 per week and (2) satisfies one of several tests for business owners, executive employees, administrative employees that exercise substantial discretion, and other factors.
Attorney Wes Sullenger has extensive experience in overtime cases, including claims that employees have not been paid required overtime, have not been paid overtime at the proper rate, or have been misclassified as exempt when they do not satisfy the required tests. If you believe you have not been paid overtime according to law, call us at (270) 442-4369 to schedule a consultation so we can evaluate your case and discuss what we can do to help you.