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What happens when your employer illegally denies you overtime pay

You work hard for your employer. Sometimes, that means that you put in more than 40 hours. Some employers will do just about anything to avoid paying their employees legally mandated time-and-a-half wages for overtime. This could include forcing people to clock out, under threat of punishment or termination, and then requiring them to continue working off the clock.

It could mean that management is illegally changing your time cards to remove any overtime hours. It could even result in an employer firing you for requesting that you get paid the appropriate amount for the time you've worked.

Under federal law, whistleblowers are protected from retaliation. That includes employees who step up to address illegal payment practices when it comes to overtime. Sadly, many employers will find a way to get rid of those who complain about these kinds of practices and may even try to discredit the whistleblower by contriving a fictitious story about reasons for that termination. If you've gotten fired, demoted or otherwise penalized for asking for fair pay for overtime, you need to speak with an experienced California employment law attorney. Your attorney can help you fight back.

Federal law mandates overtime pay for many workers

With the exception of salaried workers, all paid employees should receive overtime pay for any hours worked beyond 40 in a given work week. The Fair Labor Standards Act spells out that employers must pay hourly workers at a rate of at least one-and-a-half times their standard hourly wage for any time over forty hours. For most employers, this is a simple rule to follow. After all, it is more cost effective to have trained employees work for a few extra hours at a higher rate than it is to hire and train an additional employee for only a few hours of work in any given work week.

However, the cost of overtime can impact many different business metrics, like staffing cost versus sales at retail stores. Many companies incentivize managers to keep hours within the suggested metrics or business plan outline with an annual or quarterly bonus. That can lead to management intentionally violating the law by having workers clock out or by changing time cards to remove all overtime hours. If your employer is engaging in these practices, speaking with a California employment law attorney is in your best interests. Your attorney can help you document what's happening.

An attorney will fight for your fair wages

An experienced California employment law attorney understands how businesses may penalize staff that push back against illegal employment and wage practices. Your attorney can help you document what has happened and negotiate for a positive outcome. In many cases, that could involve taking your employer to court to recover your lost overtime wages.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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