Top 20 Overtime Scams that Make your Boss Rich

Over the years, we have helped thousands of employees recover their unpaid wages. After reviewing so many cases, we’ve noticed a pattern of recurring violations from one case to the next. The following are a number of common scenarios that often give rise to claims for unpaid overtime.

If you have experienced any of these, you may be entitled to recover money for double your unpaid overtime wages. Contact us and we can give you more information and review your specific circumstances. You can submit your information using the convenient online intake form, send an email or call.

Scam 1. You are paid a “flat salary” no matter how many hours you work, but you are not really involved in management, supervision or decision making for the business. See the tests for determining if you are subject to the “executive exemption.”

Scam 2. You get to work before your scheduled time and begin working (setting up, roll call, etc.), but don’t clock in until your scheduled start time.

Scam 3. You are required to clock out at your exact scheduled finish time, but continue working “off the clock” to finish your work, clean equipment or do a few extra work-related tasks.

Scam 4. You take work home with you, but do not include the time spent working at home on your time record and your employer permits this.

Scam 5. You work through your lunch break or eat lunch at your desk, but the time allowed for lunch is deducted on your time record.

Scam 6. Your hours are averaged over 2 or more workweeks to determine overtime. If you work 50 hours one week and 30 hours the next (for an average of 40 hours per week), you are paid for 80 regular hours and no overtime.

Scam 7. You are not paid for overtime hours because you didn’t “put in” or get permission to work, although your employer knows (or has reason to believe) you are doing the work.

Scam 8. You are treated as an “independent contractor”, but your work is largely controlled by the company.

Scam 9. Your employer doesn’t keep track of your hours, or does so in a sloppy manner that results in you getting shorted on your time.

Scam 10. You are periodically paid a “bonus” or something “extra” for working overtime, instead of being paid time and a half for each hour worked over 40 in a single workweek.

Scam 11. Your bonuses, shift differential, commissions and/or other incentive pay is not included when calculating your overtime pay rate.

Scam 12. You don’t get overtime because you are paid a “salary” and/or given the title of manager, assistant manager or supervisor, but do not have any real authority to “manage” or direct other employees or the business. You don’t have the authority to hire or fire others and your suggestions on such are not given any real weight.

Scam 13. You work for tips, but your tips combined with the wages paid by your employer do not equal the minimum hourly wage ($5.15 per hour) and your employer does not make up the difference.

Scam 14. You work for tips, but are required to share your tips with managers, dishwashers, cooks, chefs or others who are not entitled to share in tips.

Scam 15. You don’t work for the government, but get “comp time” instead of overtime pay.

Scam 16. You are required to do a lot of traveling on behalf of your employer, either from job site to job site or overnight, but are not paid for some or all of the time spent traveling.

Scam 17. You are required to attend work-related meetings and/or training sessions, but these hours are not included on your weekly time record.

Scam 18. Your employer requires you to wear a uniform, but makes you bear the cost. Because of the uniform costs you end up earning less than the minimum wage ($5.15 per hour) and it cuts into your overtime pay.

Scam 19. You are required to wear a uniform or other specialized gear, but are required to change at work before clocking in and/or after clocking out.

Scam 20. You are required to be “on call” when you are not scheduled to work and must be able to report to work within a short period of time.

Order our free report, The 10 Biggest Mistakes that can Hurt your Wage and Overtime Claim, to learn how to take action to recover your wages or overtime.