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What Happens If an Employer Doesn't Pay Overtime?

Published April 11, 2024 by Employment and Commerce Law Group
What Happens If Your Employer Doesn’t Pay Overtime?

For many Tennessee employees, working more than 40 hours per week entitles them to overtime pay. These overtime wages can add up, making the hours spent away from home, friends, and family financially worthwhile. But what happens if your workplace does not compensate you fairly?

You have legal options if your employer owes you overtime but won’t pay. A Tennessee wage law and overtime lawyer with the Employment and Commerce Law Group can help you pursue your unpaid wages.

Tennessee Overtime Laws

Tennessee’s employment laws do not address overtime pay. Instead, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers most Tennessee workers. The FLSA mandates that employers pay overtime to non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek. Overtime is not required for weekends, holidays, or rest days unless working these days puts you over 40 hours.

By law, overtime pay is one-and-a-half times your regular hourly wage, commonly called “time-and-a-half.” In Tennessee, employers must pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Therefore, if you earn the hourly minimum and work 60 hours a week, you would multiply your hourly wage by 20 (the number of hours you worked over 40), multiply that number by 1.5, and add it to your base pay to calculate your overtime pay.

Steps to Take If Your Overtime Pay is Withheld

If you believe your employer has withheld overtime pay, you should:

  • Ensure you understand your employment classification – Only non-exempt workers are legally entitled to overtime. Exempt employees often include professionals in jobs that require advanced education and training, such as teachers, nurses, physicians, executives, and administrators.
  • Document your work hours – Gather pay stubs, payroll records, phone logs, or any other documentation showing that you worked overtime. Continue to carefully document your work hours as your overtime claim moves forward.
  • Know your rights – Wage and hour laws are complex. Make sure you understand your rights. Consult an experienced overtime attorney and ask them to review your case.

Legal Options for Recovering Unpaid Overtime

If your employer doesn’t pay you overtime, you may have grounds for a wage-and-hour claim. The first step is to talk to your employer. They may not realize they made a mistake. However, if they refuse to pay your overtime, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division

(WHD). Our Tennessee overtime law attorneys can also help you take civil action. A successful unpaid overtime claim could include compensation for:

  •  Back pay
  •  Interest on unpaid wages or liquidated damages
  •  Penalties
  •  Attorney fees

Contact the Employment and Commerce Law Group for Wage and Overtime Help

Here’s the bottom line: You worked hard and should get paid for it. If your employer will not pay you the overtime you deserve, reach out to the Employment and Commerce Law Group for help. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced overtime lawyer.

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