While most overtime laws seem clear, they are nonetheless hotly debated in litigation across the country every day. If you believe you may have been wrongly denied overtime pay, contact the Illinois overtime attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center.
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as Illinois law, employers must pay their non-exempt employees a rate of 1 ½ times their normal rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a given workweek. This means that, for example, a worker who normally earns $20 per hour must be paid $30 per hour for those hours worked over 40 in a week.
The law does not require double-time at any point, and an employer can require an employee to work as many hours over 40 in a week as required, as long as the One Day Rest In Seven Act is not violated. Employers can, of course, agree to pay their workers double-time or other rates, and those agreements are enforceable. Employers cannot force employees to give up their rights to overtime as a condition of employment, and cannot give employees additional time off in exchange for working unpaid overtime.
Many workers have a major misconception regarding overtime: they believe that if they are not paid by the hour, overtime laws do not apply. This is incorrect. Overtime laws may apply to you if you are paid salary, by the piece, or any other form of pay. An hourly wage can readily be calculated based on an individual’s salary, and overtime damages can be determined on that basis.
When overtime laws are violated, other wage regulations are also often involved. Sometimes employers fail to pay employees for “off the clock” work done before or after a shift. Employees are entitled to compensation for this work, and if that work combined with other hours exceeds 40 hours in a week, overtime pay is due. Failure to pay overtime also often involves improper management of payroll records. If an employer fails to pay overtime as a matter of company policy, or fails to log hours worked beyond 40 in a week, this results in incorrect payroll records, which exposes an employer to penalties.
Certain types of workers are exempt from FLSA and Illinois overtime laws. This is not dependent upon job title, but is based on the nature of the duties of the worker. Commonly called “white collar” exceptions, executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and certain computer employees are considered exempt from overtime laws. Whether an employee fits one of these exemptions requires analysis of many facts pertaining to the employment responsibilities and the skills of the employee. Misclassification cases, as well as many other overtime cases, frequently proceed as class actions, because the employer uniformly fails to properly pay overtime to all eligible employees based on flawed company policies.
If you have worked over 40 hours a week without overtime pay, you may be entitled to overtime. At the Chicago Overtime Law Center, our skilled Illinois overtime attorneys have successfully represented many employees in overtime claims, both individually and on a class-wide basis. Overtime cases can carry penalties, other related violations, and significant back pay based on unpaid overtime, leading to substantial damages paid to workers. For these reasons employers fight hard against overtime claims, especially where a class action is involved. The tenacious, experienced attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center will see your case through to the finish. Call us today at (312) 869-4095.