Overtime Claims

Employers are obligated to pay employees for the hours they work, including when an employee works overtime. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires many employers to pay overtime wages to employees for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per work week. Minnesota law requires employers to pay overtime wages to employees in excess of 48 hours per workweek. Overtime wages are mandatory and any agreement or policy to not pay overtime is invalid. Even if an employer doesn’t “approve” overtime, it must pay an employee overtime wages if the employee actually worked more than 40 hours in a work week. When an employer does not pay overtime, does not compensate employees for breaks or other “off the clock” work, or does not properly calculate the overtime rate, then they have violated the law and engaged in wage theft.

Overtime wages paid by employers must be at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. The regular rate of pay is calculated by dividing the employee’s total compensation for the week divided by the number of hours worked in that week. An employee’s regular rate of pay includes all earnings paid to the employee during the workweek, such as non-discretionary bonuses.

All hours that the employee is required to be on work premises, except for meal periods, are counted for overtime purposes. Vacation time, holiday hours, and sick leave are not counted in overtime calculations. “Off the clock” work counts towards overtime calculations. For example, employees who are required to log in to computer systems before punching in to a time clock must be paid for that time and are entitled to overtime wages if the computer boot time causes an employee to work more than 40 hours in a week.

Some industries pay employees a flat, pre-set amount for each day of work regardless of the number of hours the employee spends at a jobsite. This arrangement is called a “day rate.” Day rate compensation plans may violate federal and state wage and hour laws if the employee works more than 40 hours per week and does not receive overtime premium pay.

Certain employees and employers are exempt from overtime wage laws. Some examples of employees who are exempt from overtime pay requirements are executive, administrative, or professional employees who are paid a salary, retail employees paid on a commission basis, outside salespersons, some agricultural workers, and professionals.

The attorneys at Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta, LLP have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of employees in class actions and collective action lawsuits under the Fair Labor Standards Act and related state laws. If you believe that you are entitled to overtime wages, contact our office and speak directly to an experienced overtime attorney.