Many employees have the right to overtime pay. Californian employees are paid one and one-half their typical hourly wage if they work more than 8 hours in a day. This increases to twice the typical hourly wage if an employee works more than 12 hours in a day. Employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are entitled to overtime pay under federal laws.
If an employee isn’t paid overtime, then they may be victims of wage theft. Here are several reasons an employee was not paid overtime:
You are facing retaliation
A discrimination, harassment or whistleblower case doesn’t look good for businesses. An employee who made a legal claim may face retaliation from their employer. Retaliation can affect employees in many ways, such as changing their roles or taking away their work. An employee may also not receive overtime as a form of punishment.
You were misclassified
An employee’s contract may state that they are exempt from overtime. Exempt employees may also not receive other benefits, such as life insurance, workers’ comp and minimum wage. While some people are not entitled to overtime, most are.
Likewise, an employee may have signed a contractor agreement when they should actually be an employee. Contracted workers may not receive the same benefits as a non-exempt employee, such as overtime.
You were asked to work “off the clock”
Some employers will ask their employees to stay late and work off the clock or volunteer hours, which often comes with a lot of pressure and guilt to do so. This off-the-clock or volunteer work may cause an employee to work hours that would have entitled them to overtime pay.
Many victims of wage theft don’t make their employees accountable for their actions. As a result, more people become victims. Victims may need to learn about their legal options to prevent future instances of wage theft and recover what they are due.