Do you work more than 40 hours per week for your employer? If so, you may be entitled to overtime pay from your employer, and may even be owed back wages, as well, irrespective of whether you are compensated hourly or salaried. Our Award winning New York Employment Lawyer has advised and counseled clients regarding their rights to minimum wage and overtime pay under the state and federal law. Keep reading to learn about a common misconception about overtime pay.
When is Overtime Paid?
Many employers may be under the belief that overtime pay only applies to hourly workers. In fact, many salaried employees are entitled to overtime pay, under both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York State Labor Law.
Overtime laws mandate that employers pay non-exempt employees overtime any time the employee works in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. Overtime laws, however, do not require overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 8 a day nor do they require employers to pay overtime for weekend or holiday work unless that work brings the worker to a total of more than 40 hours in a week or have been previously negotiated.
Who is Exempt?
Some employees are exempt from the overtime pay provisions. Commonly used exemptions include but are not limited to:
• Commissioned sales employees of retail or service establishments if more than half of the employee’s earnings come from commissions and the employee averages at least one and one-half times the minimum wage for each hour worked;
• Certain computer professionals;
• Drivers, driver’s helpers, loaders, and mechanics if employed by a motor carrier, and if the employee’s duties affect the safety of operation of the vehicles in transportation of passengers or property in interstate or foreign commerce;
• Salesmen, partsmen and mechanics employed by automobile dealerships;
• Seasonal and recreational establishment employees; and
• Executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees who are paid on a salary basis (with a minimum salary).
Exemptions, however, are narrowly construed against the employer asserting them and the ultimate burden of supporting the actual application of an exemption rests on the employer.
Finally, big changes to federal regulations are on the horizon as to what qualifies for exemptions. Look for changes in the early months of 2016 for the latest news on changes to federal and state regulations.
Everyone’s situation is unique and whether you are entitled to overtime is fact specific and depends on the circumstances. This is a general discussion and only touches a few of the issues. If you have any questions as to whether you are entitled to overtime wages or are exempt or not, contact our office to speak with our Award-Winning NY Employment Lawyer at (800) 893-9645 to learn your rights and options as a worker or learn best practices, compliance issues and related considerations as a business.
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