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What does my employer mean by “unauthorized overtime”?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2022 | Employment Law |

Whether your job is part of your lifelong ambitions or simply a means to pay your bills, part of working is getting the wages your employer promised.

Unfortunately, employers often make confusing policies about overtime and performance standards. Sometimes, it can seem like there is no choice but to work overtime while your boss says that you cannot work unauthorized overtime.

Here’s what you should know about when your employer must pay overtime wages.

All overtime must be paid

Paying overtime can get expensive, so in one way, it makes sense that an employer may not want to pay the additional money. However, once you work over 40 hours a week, your boss must pay overtime.

Often, employers will use phrases to state that overtime is not permitted. Typically, this is because they do not want to pay the additional wages and want to deter you from working the extra hours. While your employer could take disciplinary action for working unauthorized hours, they cannot deny the pay once the work is complete.

What about mandatory overtime?

The other side of the overtime issue typically comes with chronically understaffed employers who require overtime. Employers can include required overtime in a job description and expect employees to work more than 40 hours in a week.

An employer who requires overtime can also take disciplinary action against employees who refuse to work the mandatory overtime in their job description.

When do my hours count as overtime?

In some states, overtime depends both on hours worked in a day and on hours worked in the week. This is not the case in North Carolina. Here, employers must pay any time over 40 hours in a week at time and one-half the employe’s hourly rate.

Sometimes employers will get angry or confrontational about paying overtime wages. You should talk to a skilled professional about an employer who refuses to pay overtime.