Something a job is an hourly employee often means accepting variations in your monthly income. When sales are slow, your employer may cut your hours and leave you struggling to pay your bills. When someone quits unexpectedly, you may have to put in far more hours than you usually do.
Overtime wage rights are one of the most important federal protections for hourly employees. You have the right to expect at least 150% of your average weekly wage if you work more than 40 hours in a given work week.
Although you may look forward to the boost you get from overtime pay, companies often resent the increased costs involved with overtime wages and will try to deny you such pay. Can your boss demand that you work off the clock so that you don’t put in more than 40 hours?
Whenever you work, you deserve pay
If your employer could pick and choose when they pay you for your work, they could deprive you of hours’ worth of wages by making unfair demands on your time. Whether your boss wants you to respond to social media messages over the weekend or to come in early to do prep work before your shift, you deserve compensation for the time that you commit to your job.
Any routine job responsibility is a task that your employer should pay you to perform. There are rules that protect your right to pay for when you work. Even if everyone else at the company does the work without requesting additional compensation, your employer cannot demand that you waive your right to overtime pay or force you to work off the clock.
Documenting your case will help you bring a wage claim
Proof of when you actually worked and when the company claimed you were at work can be the most important evidence for an unpaid overtime wage claim. The more records you have of when you arrived at and left your job and of the various tasks your employer demands you perform without compensation, the more straightforward your wage claim will become.
Knowing and asserting your rights to full compensation for the time that you work will help you hold your employer accountable for unethical wage practices.