Working more than 40 hours a week is business as usual these days. However, employees of how long they are on the job and whether their efforts entitle them to overtime pay can be shortchanged.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New Jersey state overtime laws stipulate that many employees qualify for paid time-and-half when working more than 40 hours per week. The word “most” is key because not everyone is eligible. These are three exceptions to the rule:

  • Administrative employees: This applies when the worker’s primary job involves office and non-manual work related to the company’s business and independent judgment about business matters.
  • Executive employees: These employees have:
    • The main responsibility for managing the business, subdivision, or department.
    • Supervise two full-time employees.
    • Either have the authority to hire and fire workers or have considerable input into personnel decisions.
  • Professional employees: This includes creative and learned professionals.

Other workers who may be exempt from overtime include outside salespeople, hotel employees, farm workers, and independent contractors. Even with these exceptions, many salaried and hourly employees qualify for and receive overtime.

Do Employers Avoid Paying Overtime?

Overtime pay is a significant cost for many companies, so it is not unusual for some to avoid paying. They could be salaried workers, but you may pay a pro-rated rate if your salary is less than $684 weekly.

Employers can also base overtime on pay periods instead of weeks. Employees are often paid bi-weekly or monthly; the missing overtime can be a loophole or an honest mistake. Misclassifying an employee can also cause problems; doing so saves companies from paying employment taxes and benefits.

Informal arrangements between employers and workers can also lead to missing overtime. Employees might be asked to work through lunch, answer emails, or prep and clean their stations after working hours. That is why tracking your hours and avoiding being taken advantage of is essential.

What if My Hours Need to Be Tracked?

Hourly employees are typically tracked, but salaried employees have fixed pay rates, no matter how many hours they work. They can work hours independently; while that takes time, it can be beneficial. Maintaining records can be advantageous if you think your employer made an error with your earned pay at some point. This also applies to tracking paid time off, like sick days, holidays, and vacations.        

Our legal team also advises potential and current employees to read their employee manuals about company overtime policies. If there is no information, contact an HR representative or supervisor. Keep detailed information about your hours, along with the duties performed. If they are not forthcoming about overtime payments and you have been underpaid, an employment lawyer may be able to help.

Our Marlton Employment Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Fight to Protect Employees’ Rights

Determining if you are entitled to overtime pay can be difficult because of the laws and exceptions, but our skilled Marlton employment lawyers at Burnham Douglass can help. Call 856-751-5505 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Evesham Township, Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic City.