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Seven Sneaky Ways Companies Avoid Paying Overtime

The biggest cost for most businesses is labor. It makes sense then that top management would pursue ways to cut costs and increase the company's bottom line. One of the ways companies try to save money is by making workers perform more than one job. Another way is to not pay workers overtime.

When are you due overtime pay?

Non-exempt workers are due overtime pay after they have worked 40 hours in one week. This pay must be not less than 1.5 times their regular pay rate.

New York minimum wage

 In 2017 the minimum wage is $9.70 per hour in most of New York.

  • In Long Island and Westchester the minimum wage is $11.00 and will increase to $12.00 an hour in 2018.
  • For employers with more than 11 employees the minimum wage is $13.00 an hour in 2017 and will increase to $15.00 in 2018. 

Seven Sneaky ways employers get out of overtime

  1. The employer requires you to work from home and off the clock to complete tasks. An employer may say that you are not to leave until you finish a task, but you are to punch out at your regular time.
  2. Your employer may claim that because you get a salary you cannot be paid overtime. This is not true for most workers.
  3. An employer may combine exempt and non exempt duties. Exempt workers are typically executives, professionals and administrative and those doing research or working under a government or education grant.
  4. An employer may classify you as an "independent contractor." But if your employer forbids you to work for other companies, controls the time and manner that you work and requires you to follow all company rules and hours the company may just be trying to save money and avoid paying you overtime.
  5. Your employer may claim you are in sales and salespeople don't get overtime.  However, if you work inside sales - that is you work from the office not on the road - then you qualify for overtime. 
  6. Your employer may give you a bogus title to avoid paying overtime. If your company calls you a "manager" or "vice president" but you are not in charge of anyone this may be to avoid paying overtime.
  7. Your work may offer "comp time" which is time off instead of overtime pay. This is illegal.

If your company does not pay you time and half for any hours you work that exceed 40 in one week then speak with an employment attorney about protecting your rights.

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