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Can You Sue An Employer For Not Paying Overtime?



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As per the Federal Law, employers must pay overtime to the “non-exempt” employees when they have worked for more than forty hours in a week. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, overtime is paid at 1.5x the standard rate.

Most employment contracts eligible for overtime pay are covered under Fair Labor Standards (FLSA). State laws usually protect the remaining ones. However, some employees remain out of the purview of these laws, such as state employees, IT professionals, and hospital workers. These are often exempt, and overtime is never guaranteed.

Sales executives working in the field and people earning over $100,000 for non-manual labor are also exempt from overtime.

Even if employees are not exempt by the applicable laws, if they meet all the three criteria given below, they shall be exempt from overtime payment:

  • The employee is making more than $684/ week or $35,568/ year.
  • The employee has a fixed salary.
  • The employee is performing exempt duties as part of their job.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

How Much Amount Can You Recover In The Overtime Lawsuit?


One of the first amounts to recover is overtime. When your employer refuses to pay for work exceeding forty hours a week, you have a legal claim and can pursue action against them to recover the extra wages.


You will also be entitled to interest on the outstanding overtime calculated over the time it remained unpaid. State laws determine the rate of interest to be paid in the case of overtime or overdue wages.

However, if interest is not applicable, you may also be able to recover liquidated damages. As per the Federal Laws, liquidated damages are amounts determined in advance by the law that is to be awarded to aggrieved employees instead of interest. If the employer’s actions were intentional, they might have to pay twice the amount owed initially as liquidated damages.

Fines and Legal Fees

In employment litigation, certain state laws levy fines and penalties to be paid by the employer.

While fighting a case, the employee would not have incurred many costs if the employer had just paid the rightfully due overtime. Your employer will also have to pay your legal fees if they are proved guilty.

Contact An Employment Lawyer

Employers are fully aware that they need to pay overtime and are legally required to do so but can still refuse to pay or intentionally misclassify a worker as “exempt” to avoid making additional payment. Unfortunately, even most employees are not aware of their rights or classification to take appropriate measures.

If you think you have a case and have not been overtime, the first step is to consult with an experienced employment lawyer. They will help determine whether you are covered under the Fair Labor Standards (FLSA) and if you are, you will be able to sue your past and current employer to pay outstanding overtime.

The Rubin Law Corporation has been representing employees since 1996 in individual as well as class-action lawsuits. By consulting a skilled attorney, an underpaid and aggrieved employee can pursue all remedial options available as per the law to recover expenses and overtime.

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