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No OT/Regular Rate, Illinois

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  • No OT/Regular Rate, Illinois

    I work for a tool company in IL, they never mentioned anything about not getting paid OT they just asked if I didn't mind working OT once in a while. It's not much OT for my position but it still adds up after a while. I've only been working here for about 2 months. Since not seeing OT not any additional pay on my check for one pay period I asked around to other employees, they all said the same thing "nobody gets paid OT or additional hrs worked no matter what position they have" when one person asked why we didn't get paid OT the supervisor said because if you stay past the time you leave its your fault because you didn't finish your work. They don't use a payroll system, the AR/AP lady calculates the amount and taxes and writes the check by hand. Some employees work up to 15hrs OT in a pay period but don't get paid OT rate nor their normal rate for those hrs. So basically doesn't matter if you work above 80 hrs, on your timecard which we punch in through a punch in/out clock it gets rounded to 80hrs and those timecards eventually get discarded. During lunch one day I had a conversation with the AP/AR lady and she basically does what the supervisor says, our supervisors are the owners of the company, I also mentioned to her that I the previous company I worked for had a huge audit by the DOL and had big amount to pay in OT backpay and fines, she said that she just does the payroll how the supervisor (owner) says and that its in their culture to basically work people a lot not matter the pay; they are Chinese. I told her it may be in your culture but this isn't China and there are different laws here. I feel like the people that work here don't want to say anything or push the subject in fear of getting fired, me personally I leave as soon as 8hrs are up daily I don't stay a second later because they don't pay OT.

    Are my suspicions of this being illegal correct? What can people do to get that OT payed that was never even paid at regular rate?

  • #2
    Assuming at least some of these employees are non-exempt, this is completely illegal. For those non-exempt employees, any hours over 40 for a week (with few exceptions, it does not go to 80 per two weeks) must be considered overtime and paid at a rate of 1.5x the normal rate of pay. No company policy can override this.

    Now, the employer can tell the employees not to work OT and discipline/discharge them if they do. But this does not take away their obligation to pay for the time worked.

    Comment


    • #3
      If you're non exempt, you definitely need to be paid OT for hrs. worked
      over 40 in the work week. (1 1/2 x your regular hr. rate)

      Wage claims are filed with the Il. DOL.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

      Comment


      • #4
        Which is exactly what I thought. It seems like a lot of the employees have just thought as nothing of it, not knowing what the laws are. Some do bring it up in conversation but will not confront the supervisor/owner; which honestly isn't the nicest person in the world but still has to follow the law. Also, one of the employees had mentioned that she wasn't getting paid for last week's holiday (Memorial day) while everyone else was, the AR/AP lady said because the supervisor/owner said she wasn't full time only temporary yet she was hired directly through the company and she works OT every week! Another thing that is illegal I believe? How do you determine whether you're exempt from being paid OT? Am I mistaken when I say that if one of these employees where to have had enough she could sue the company causing DOL to come in and investigate? I've seen it done at the previous company I worked for and they definitely learned from it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Holiday pay is not mandatory, even if everyone else is getting paid for the day. If she is considered temporary, that would be a legal basis for denying holiday pay.

          A lawsuit is not necessary, but filing a wage claim for unpaid OT can generate a DOL audit. And yes, it can be a heck of a learning experience for an employer.

          The DOL may be interested in the recordkeeping as well, since time cards need to be on hand for at least 3 years. You should make notes about your own hours and keep those notes at home.

          You mentioned working for a tool company. Exempt status is generally based on job duties. Briefly, what do you do all day for this company?

          Comment


          • #6
            Also, one of the employees had mentioned that she wasn't getting paid for last week's holiday (Memorial day) while everyone else was, the AR/AP lady said because the supervisor/owner said she wasn't full time only temporary yet she was hired directly through the company and she works OT every week! Another thing that is illegal I believe?

            There is no law requiring that a non-exempt employee be paid for holidays, regardless of whether they are full time, part time, temporary, permanent, works OT, doesn't work OT, is paid by an agency or is paid by the company. If the employee is non-exempt, she has no legal expectation of being paid when she doesn't work, even on holidays. Even if other employees are paid for the holiday. Unless there is a valid and supportable reason to believe that the reason she is not being paid for the holiday when everyone else is, due to her race, religion, national origin or other characteristic protected by law, this falls under the "possibly unfair but not illegal" category.

            How do you determine whether you're exempt from being paid OT?

            You go to the US DOL website, find the section on the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) and you read the exemptions.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              Gotcha. What I do all day is basically take orders/answer questions over phone/email, do some purchasing, and customer service. If the company discards the timecards how is an employee to calculate past OT hrs if they didn't keep track of them on their own?

              Comment


              • #8
                Typically customer service duties are non-exempt roles, especially if you are not supervising anyone. Make your best guess on what hours you remember working. You've been there 2 months so it may not be that hard to come up with this. If you can't make/keep copies of your punch cards, write down the times that you punch in & out each day.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sounds non exempt to me too.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Got it, thanks for your help. I'll let the other workers know but I doubt they'll fill out that claim form they seem too scared to get fired. I'll just stick to my plan of leaving 8hrs each day no mater what.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Legally, the company cannot retaliate against the employees for filing a wage claim. Some will do it anyways and claim other reasons - a strategy that has varying degrees of success in court.
                      Last edited by RRPayroll; 06-06-2011, 11:30 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I worked for a company that was audited by the DOL. I was long gone at the time. I ended up getting a unexpected check in the mail, as the company had a pattern of not paying for all hours worked.

                        If a pattern is established, it is possible that all employees, previous or current, will get back pay.

                        There are also whistle blower laws that can give you a huge chunk if retaliated against. That does not pay the immediate bills though~~~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ya the company I worked for before that had the DOL audit had a big amount of back pay and a lot of checks to people that didn't even work there anymore. In this situation I'm not really affected by it because like I said I know to leave on the dot now but to others that fear for their job and one of the owners pressures them to stay and do more work and them working overtime every week but not getting paid for it even regular pay at least and not really knowing the laws just doesn't sit right with me on behalf of the company. But at the same time once they are informed of the laws they can choose to claim their OT pay or not.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Refusing to work hours as the manager requires could get you fired legally.

                            Not being paid appropriately is separate from insubordination. However I would say if you have proof you were not paid in the past, unemployment may be granted but you would still be out of the job.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't know the laws as to getting fired legally for refusing to work hrs. But I know it's illegal to not get paid OT or at least regular rate for OT hrs worked. So not sure why someone would want to work hrs they're not gonna get paid for.

                              Comment

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