Overtime wages can be an incredible boon to those who work a job paid on an hourly basis. They never know how much they might make from week to week, so making one-and-a-half times their usual hourly wage is a great opportunity.
Theoretically, paying overtime is cost-effective for employers, too. Being understaffed can do a lot of harm to a company, and training a new employee is very expensive. Paying for a few hours of overtime from existing staff should be an economical solution when they need extra work.
Unfortunately, companies sometimes engage in underhanded practices to avoid paying overtime wages at all. Here are two ways they do it:
They require preparatory or closing work performed off the clock
During training at your new job, your manager explains that there are certain things you have to do every day before you can clock into your shift. Everyone does this because that is the practice at the business.
Ultimately, you might have to clock out before doing certain tasks at closing or the end of your shift every day. Whether it’s cleaning or chopping vegetables for the next shift in a restaurant kitchen, workers deserve to be paid for every minute that they perform labor for a company.
They try to deny pay after workers put in extra hours
Some companies have written employment policies forbidding overtime unless someone has written approval by management or even the corporate offices.
However, when someone suddenly doesn’t show up for their shift after there is some other unexpected situation at work, an employee might have to stay on after their 40th hour. Companies can’t just refuse to pay someone their overtime wages because of an internal policy that requires pre-approval for overtime.
Knowing more about your wage rights can help you determine if you have a claim against your employer for their payroll practices.