You have worked for your employer for several months, and you've started to notice a trend. Although you are working over 40 hours a week, you aren't seeing any overtime pay. At first, you thought that you had made a mistake. However, after taking note of your work hours and carefully recording them, you know that you are not being paid for the extra time.
You are not a salaried employee. That means that there is no excuse for not receiving pay for the hours you work during the week. In fact, it is most likely illegal; if you go over your scheduled time 40 hours in a prescribed work week, your employer is required to pay you in accordance with the law.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employers pay the federal minimum wage to those who work for them. They also have to pay time-and-a-half to those who work over 40 hours a week. When an employer does not do this, they are in violation of the law and could be forced to pay their employees back pay.
What is the federal minimum wage?
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour as of July 2015. In California, the minimum wage is $11 per hour per state law. Certain cities, like San Francisco, have higher minimum wages. Your employer is required to pay you in accordance with local or state laws if the required minimum wage is higher in those areas.
What is time-and-a-half pay?
Time-and-a-half pay is your normal hourly wage with the addition of half of your normal hourly wage. For example, if you make $10 per hour, the normal wage for overtime is $15 per hour. If you do not see your employer paying you time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40, there is a possibility that they are in violation of federal law. However, there are some businesses that are exempt, so it is a good idea to speak with your employer before you take legal action.
There is a chance that speaking to your employer may clear up any confusion that you have. If the employer is exempt from paying time-and-a-half, it could explain discrepancies in your paycheck. There is also a chance that the employer did not realize that you were working overtime. If that is the case, they may be willing to write you a check or pay you for the extra hours you worked on your next paycheck to correct the mistake.
In some places, the employer will claim that not authorizing you to work beyond 40 hours means that they don't have to pay you. That is not true. Any hours you work must be paid.