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Your overtime pay should not be negotiable

Many employees face difficulty getting their employers to pay them fairly for overtime work. Often, an employer may claim that the employee does not actually deserve overtime for some reason or another, or that the nature of the employee's employment status does not qualify for overtime pay. In very broad strokes, employers must pay overtime pay to employees who work more than 40 hours within a consecutive 168-hour period.

However your pay is calculated, whether on a commission basis, salary or some other guidelines, overtime must still be paid according to the hours put in. Some employers may offer a lump sum for overtime worked, but this is probably not appropriate. Overtime must be properly calculated according to the average hourly rate of the employee and the actual number of hours of overtime worked in a given pay period.

Some employers attempt to justify not paying overtime by offering the employee a salary position and expecting a certain amount of overtime as part of the salary position. This arrangement does not relieve the employer from their duty to pay appropriate overtime to employees.

If you believe that your employer is not appropriately compensating you for overtime, you should speak with an attorney immediately. This attorney will review the facts of your case and help you understand the finer points of your circumstances. Together, you can build a strong case and strategize how to pursue fair compensation for your overtime hours. In addition, it is important to remember that when you fight for fair treatment for yourself in the workplace, you also fight for fair treatment of others.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division, "Fact Sheet #23: Overtime Pay Requirements of the FLSA," accessed Sep. 15, 2017

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