In the United States, employers are required to pay their employees overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a single week. However, some employers may still try to get away with denying their workers overtime. They may try to say you earn a salary or ask you to bring unfinished work home to avoid paying you overtime. If you’re being denied overtime, it’s important to know the next steps to take to ensure the right to the compensation you deserve.
Write Down All the Hours You Have Worked
The first step in recovering your overtime pay is recording all the hours you did work, even if you performed some of the work in your home. In addition to the overtime hours you worked, remember to jot down the times and dates you worked. Keep these documents in your home rather than in your work drawer. You never know if your employer will find them and get rid of them.
Talk to Your Employer
The next thing you may want to do is have a conversation with your employer. It’s possible that your employer has made a mistake and didn’t intentionally try to deny you overtime pay. Inform your employer that you’re entitled to overtime pay and bring evidence of the hours you worked.
File a Complaint
If your employer doesn’t respond in the way you had hoped, it may be time to file a formal complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. In your complaint, make sure to include your full name, address, phone number, your employer’s name and address, your job title, how much and often you are paid and a detailed description of your employer’s violations.
After the agency receives your complaint, they will conduct an investigation to determine if you have a valid claim.
Consult a Lawyer
If your employer is refusing to pay you for overtime, it may be necessary to file a civil lawsuit to recoup your wages. However, you shouldn’t attempt to do this on your own. It’s important to work with an experienced overtime lawyer. He or she can help you file a timely lawsuit and improve your likelihood of recovering your overtime pay. Many times, these lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to worry about owing money upfront.