Can I Be Forced to Work Overtime?

Yes. Although the standard workweek is 40 hours and employers are required to compensate employees who work beyond this number at a higher rate, an employer does have the right to require an employee to work 41 hours or more within a given workweek. Your employer also has the right to fire you for refusing to work overtime.

If you have not been compensated at least 1.5 times your normal pay rate (“time and a half”) for hours worked beyond the 40-hour workweek or you feel your employer has committed another type of wage or hour violation against you, seek legal counsel from an experienced wage dispute attorney to determine how to proceed with your case.

What Are my Overtime Rights?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), you have the right to be paid 1.5 times your normal pay rate for every hour you work beyond 40 hours in one workweek. A workweek is defined as a seven-day period during which you perform paid work.

You are only entitled to this heightened rate if you have already worked 40 hours during that workweek – working longer than eight hours in one workday does not make you eligible to overtime pay unless you have already worked a standard week. These laws apply to most workers in the United States. Some occupations, such as farm workers and domestic workers living in their employers’ homes, are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirement.

Overtime pay and other wage disputes are handled by the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). If you have an overtime issue that you could not sort out with your company’s Human Resources department, you might need to file a claim with the WHD. This, like other types of employment claims, will require you to keep a meticulous record of your experience and pay discrepancy to use as evidence for your claim. It is in your best interest to work with an experienced employment attorney to pursue your claim.

Employment Attorney in New Jersey

For more information about your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act, contact The Sattiraju & Tharney, LLP to speak to a skilled New Jersey employment attorney. We can answer any questions you have about your rights, your employer’s rights, and other aspects of employment law. Our team of New Jersey employment attorneys has a strong case record of success in employment disputes. Do not jeopardize your case by working with a less experienced firm.