Common Tricks Employers Use to Not Pay Overtime: New York City Wage and Hour Attorney

There Are Some Common Tricks that Employers Use to Not Pay Overtime to New York Workers: Learn What They are to Protect Your Rights Under the Labor Law

Not paying overtime can be a serious issue.  Under federal and New York law, employers must pay employees overtime at a rate of one and a half (1.5) times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in the workweek.  This can quickly get expensive for employers, particularly in New York City.  It is not uncommon for employers to attempt to reduce the amount of overtime owed to employees.  Some employers do this on a good faith basis as a business decision, which may not be a well-advised business decision or against the law.  Other employers intentionally do this on a bad faith basis to save costs and money.

No matter which way it occurs, there are several common ways that employers will attempt to lower the amount of overtime pay they owe to an employee which is against federal and New York Labor Law.  Our experienced New York City wage and hour attorneys share these below for employers to know what is and is not legal to do, and for employees to know what rights they have in overtime cases.

Promoting an Employee to an “Executive,” “Administrator,” or “Supervisor” But Not Giving Such Powers – Under New York Labor Law s 651, are exemptions to the requirement for paying overtime to certain employees which include executive employees and administrative employees.  But this exemption is more than just title alone, and also involves what discretionary duties, common tasks, and actual powers the employee has.  Many employers will label an employee as an executive, administrator, or supervisor but still not treat the employee as one.  This does not get an employer out of paying overtime and is against the labor law.

Requiring Employees to Waive Overtime in an Agreement – It may seem reasonable that an employer and employee agree that the employee will not even overtime, and it may even be in writing.  However, this is against the labor law as employers are not permitted to have employees waive overtime—even in a signed, written agreement.

Requiring Pre-Approval or Preauthorization Before Obtaining Overtime – Employers cannot require employees to get pre-approval or preauthorization for an employee to work overtime, otherwise the employer will not pay for it.  This is also against the labor law, even if the employer and employer agree to this in writing.

Deducting Time from an Employee’s Timesheet for breaks that did not occur – Sometimes employers will actually add deductions to an employee’s hours worked to drop the weekly hours before 40 so the employer does not have to pay overtime.  This could include bathroom breaks, required meal breaks, and even false breaks.  Not only is this against the labor law, but this could result in criminal penalties.

Deducting wages from an Employee’s paycheck for breaks that did not occur – Like the point above, sometimes employers will still give the overtime pay but then retroactively deduct pay from the employer for breaks—some breaks which did not even occur.  This is also against the labor law and not permitted.

Asking workers to do a favor “off the clock” – Sometimes employers will ask employees to do them a favor, but off the clock in other to not have to pay overtime.  This is also against the labor law, as it creates a situation where the employee feels compelled to help for the sake of his or her job.  This is known as an adhesion contract or adhesion position, and is not permitted.

Has Any of the Above Happened to You?  Not Paying Overtime is a Serious Issue.  Call our New York City Wage and Hour Attorneys for a FREE Consultation

The experienced New York City Wage and Hour attorneys at SAMUEL & STEIN are dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of employers and working people throughout New York and New Jersey.  We have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to ensure your legal rights are protected and you are not taken advantage of.  Call us today by dialing (646) 681-4193 or use the convenient “Evaluate Now” box on our webpage.  Together we can help answer your questions and protect your rights.

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