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Overtime Indiana

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  • Overtime Indiana

    I work at a small company in Indiana. My employer threatens to fire any employee that goes over forty hours. If any employee happens to go over by accident, they physically change the hours in the computer. Is that legal? Am I elgible for overtime?

  • #2
    If you are non-exempt under FLSA and I assume you are, then you must be paid for all hours physically worked. Non-exempt just means you are eligible to receive overtime pay if worked. The employers threats of terminating for going over 40 hours is not against the law. He can terminate but he must pay if hours were physically worked.

    http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/hrg.htm#2

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    • #3
      Agreed. Also, if the employer actually terminates someone, it would be a good idea for the terminated employee to file a wage claim. If state DOL looks at this, the employer is probably going to get hurt. While employers can generally terminate employees at will, a formal policy designed to intimidate employees into working overtime without pay has some interesting legal possibilities. Depending on state law, maybe putting people in jail possibilities.

      In this case, the threat to terminate may be illegal when the termination is not. There is something called the "Public Policy" exception to the "Employment At Will" doctrine supported by 43 states including Indiana. There is a reasonable possibility that terminated someone solely for asking for overtime legally earned falls under this exception.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #4
        I agree with DAW. At worst, it's a "public policy" violation. At best (for the fired employee), IF you work the overtime, file a claim with the state DOL for unpaid overtime, and are fired because you filed the claim, you would likely have a case for wrongful termination under whistleblower protection laws.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          I'm going to split a hair here.

          I agree that firing someone for asking to be paid for overtime they are legally owed would violate public policy.

          However, firing someone because they worked unauthorized overtime does not. If the employees have been told not to work over 40 hours a week, they can be fired for doing so. However, they would still have to be paid for the time they worked.
          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.

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          • #6
            No, I agree with you cbg. Maybe I didn't read DAWs post as closely as I should have. "Threatening" is not a violation of any law. Guess you'll just have to make sure, OP, that you don't work overtime "by accident".
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              I agree with CBG's point, although the OP also said that "If any employee happens to go over by accident, they physically change the hours in the computer" (presumably not paying OT), which is flat out illegal. The combination of the two, not paying overtime worked and threatening with firing has gotten employers in serious legal troubles in the past.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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              • #8
                Oh, there's no question that changing the hours in the computer so that employees do not get paid for time actually worked is illegal. I just wanted to clarify that it is not illegal to either threaten to, or actually, fire someone for working unauthorized overtime.
                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.

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