Is it legal for a company to not pay OT if you aren’t salary?

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Is it legal for a company to not pay OT if you aren’t salary?

I worked for a network consultant for 2 years and I was hourly. They told me they do not pay overtime but told me that if I did not want to work over an 8 hour day if I did not want to. However, here’s the thing, I could not just stop in the middle of working with a customer. Most of the hours over 8 were due to the company knowing or asking me to work with a customer after closing. The average hours a week worked was 50-60 in 5 day period.

Asked on April 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, all hourly employees must be paid overtime--even some salaried staff are eligible for overtime, but certainly, if you were an employee and were paid on an hourly basis, you should be paid overtime for all hours worked past 40 in a week. Therefore if you worked, say, 55 hours in a single workweek, you should have been paid 40 hours at your regular rate and 15 hours at your ovetime rate (time-and-half). Your company cannot avoid this obliation by saying you *could* have left at hours--if you in fact worked more than 40 hours in a week, even if it was allegedly voluntary on your part, you are entitled to overtime. The only way to stop you from earning overtime would be to not have you work more than 40 hours/week at all--i.e. not make it voluntary, but to instead affirmatively tell you that you can't work more than 40 hours in a week. If they let you work more than 40 hours, you should have  been paid overtime.

You should speak with a n employment law attorney--you potentially have a claim for years of unpaid back overtime.


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