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Understanding Overtime Laws and Your Employment Contract

Whether you work in a sales position, retail, or the service industry, there are tons of industries in which employers fail to properly compensate their hardworking employees. In this brief article, a Tampa overtime lawyer will discuss a few “creative” (and illegal) ways an employer can try to avoid paying their employees their rightful wage amount. Remember, whether you’ve been misclassified as an exempt employee or your employer is forcing you to work off-the-clock, you are owed additional compensation. If you feel that you are owed payment, consult our Tampa overtime lawyers

Overtime Pay and Contracts

Unfortunately, some employers may require their employees to sign a contract or verbally agree to waive overtime pay. They may also require their employees to work overtime at a reduced overtime rate. Although the employer may think that an agreement absolves them from the need to compensate their employees for overtime, an agreement like this is invalid. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers cannot waive an employee’s right to overtime pay. Even if an employee volunteers to give up their right to overtime pay or agrees to less pay for overtime than the federal requirement, this does not excuse the employer from properly compensating the employee for overtime. 

Understanding Workweeks

It’s important that employees understand employment laws related to the workweek. For example, a workweek doesn’t have to start on a Monday. Workweeks are seven consecutive 24-hour periods of time that make up a total of 168 total hours. When employees work in excess of 40 hours in a workweek, they should be compensated a 50 percent increase in their hourly wage total for each additional hour worked. Employers may try to skirt this issue by combining two weeks pay to round out the total hours worked to 80; however, this is a violation. For example, if an employee worked 50 hours over one week and then 30 hours the next workweek, the employer is legally required to pay the employee 10 hours of overtime for that first week of work. 

Whether your contract states that you are not owed overtime, or if an employer is paying you biweekly and not covering overtime pay, either of these situations is quite common and in violation of the law. If you feel you are owed unpaid overtime pay, speak with a Tampa overtime lawyer.  

If you would like to speak with one of our Tampa overtime lawyers, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.