Whether working scheduled hours or overtime, you expect and deserve to get paid. Usually, receiving money owed is not a problem, but in some instances, an employer will refuse to pay for the work that an employee has performed. If you worked overtime but now find that your boss will not pay, you are probably trying to figure out what you can do rectify the situation.
To start, you need to contact a reputable attorney. As a legal professional, the attorney will take immediate action to protect your rights but also ensure that you get paid the money owed. There is also a good chance that you have concerns about retaliation. You need to know that that under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) enacted in 1938, your employer cannot take any kind adverse action against you regarding your employment.
As an example, if you get fired or your boss tells you that you have to quit if you plan to file a lawsuit, you could end up filing a second lawsuit since the FSLA prohibits both of these actions. Now, your employer could still go through with threats made, but if that happens, he or she could face serious legal consequences.
Something else important to note is that there are a few exceptions as to who can sue for not getting paid overtime. For instance, if you are a volunteer, seasonal worker, or independent contractor, filing a lawsuit is not an option. However, if you meet the criteria for suing, not only can you recoup money owed for overtime up to three years, but you can also recover the cost of your attorney. In fact, in some cases, you can get double the amount of overtime owed as liquidated damages.
According to the FLSA, there are three primary kinds of unpaid overtime violations. The first has to do with working off the clock, meaning that with permission from your boss, you took work home to do on the weekend, you worked through your lunch hour, stayed after the business closed, and so on. Secondly, if your employer told you that because you are a salaried employee, you are not eligible for overtime, he or she may be incorrect. The third violation has to do with comp time. As an example, your employer cannot offer you comp time in exchange for over 40 hours worked within a given week.
Regardless of the reason, as long as you meet the FSLA standards, you have legal right to fight for overtime pay not received. Because this type of case can be challenging, you need a seasoned attorney in your corner. Through documentation that you provide coupled with information that your attorney uncovers, you have a good chance of suing and winning.
Dealing with a situation like this is frustrating, and many times, the lack of money owed negatively affects personal finances. If you worked overtime hours but your employer refuses to pay, make sure that you contact a qualified attorney who will fight for you.