Employees Working Unauthorized Overtime

If an employee is working overtime without permission from a manager, what options do you have as the employer?

Under federal law (The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA), if a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek they must be compensated at a rate of one and one half times their regular hourly rate for all hours over 40 in the week. If an employee is working, they must be paid for all time worked, even if the hours were not authorized by management. For example, if an employee is scheduled for 40 hours and works 46 hours, but the 6 hours of overtime weren’t approved by the employee’s manager, the employee must still be paid for all 46 hours worked.  Continue reading

Guarding Against Unauthorized Overtime

locks-332093_1280An employer is frustrated because employees are working overtime and ignoring the employer’s request not to do so.  Here’s how the employer describes the situation:

Q. “I have a recurring problem regarding employees working overtime.  Some employees will arrive early, stay late or maybe take a short lunch break.  I have told them I do not want them to work more than 40 hours.

“I even issued a memo telling my employees unless overtime was authorized in advance it would not be paid.  Nothing keeps this problem from reoccurring.  The surprising part is, the employees who do this are some of my best employees.  How do I avoid this unwanted overtime?”

A. Top notch employees are among the most frequent abusers of overtime, working overtime without pay.

Their dedication may seem commendable, but never allow employees to perform work without paying them.  Never allow non-exempt employees to perform overtime work without paying them overtime pay.

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Clear Overtime Policy Saves Money

1428646_66849787It’s not enough to have a one-sentence statement in your employee handbook that merely tells your employees something like this: “All time worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek will be compensated at one-and-one-half times your regular hourly rate of pay.”  It’s not enough if you want to cut and control employee costs associated with overtime pay and exercise your employer rights at the same time.

Following are some things to consider to develop a clear and specific overtime policy:

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