Michelle Cohen Levy

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Is your boss cheating you out of the chance to earn overtime?

| Jan 7, 2020 | Firm News |

The recent raise in Florida’s minimum wage may be something you have looked forward to for years. Still just a little more than a dollar over the federal standard, every bit helps, especially since you rely on your paycheck to meet your financial obligations and buy the things you need and want. Another thing that helps boost your take-home pay is overtime. You may be one of those who eagerly accepts extra shifts and assignments for the chance at reaching the 40-hour threshold to qualify for overtime.

You know that overtime pay is time and a half your normal pay rate. However, you never seem to see that bump on your paycheck even when it feels like you are regularly on the job more than 40 hours a week. If this is the case, you may want to notice whether there are times when you are working off the clock.

You deserve fair pay

State and federal laws forbid employers from requiring or allowing hourly employees to work without fair compensation. This means a just wage. If your employer asks you to complete assignments or to stay and work after you have logged out, your boss may be breaking the law. Additionally, he or she may be robbing you of the chance to earn the overtime wages you deserve. Some of the common tricks unethical employers use to avoid paying employees include the following:

  • Not paying you for the time you travel from the office to a meeting with a client
  • Requiring you to reply to work-related phone calls or emails without pay when you are home
  • Making you stay at your desk to answer phones or greet customers while you are taking your unpaid meal break
  • Telling you to clock out before you redo work, make corrections on mistakes or clean up after your shift
  • Clocking you out during down time between customers or when you are on a call and not allowed to leave the workplace
  • Refusing to pay you for attending mandatory meetings or training sessions during work hours

As an hourly employee, you know that time is money. The time you are on the job is time you are not with your family, meeting other obligations or doing things you enjoy. If your employer does not pay you for that time, you may wish to consult an attorney to see if you are a victim of wage violations and to learn about your legal options.