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Can an hourly employee legally be denied overtime pay?

Federal wage and hour law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), provides that non-exempt workers are entitled to receive overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times their standard rate of pay for all time spent working in excess of 40 hours in any one work week. This simple statement raises several questions. For example, if you are paid on an hourly basis, and you work more than 40 hours a week, must your employer pay you overtime compensation?

The answer depends on many factors. Whether you are exempt vs. non-exempt is generally not dependent on whether you are an hourly vs. a salaried employee. Rather, the evaluation is based on considerations of your overall salary (which may or may not be as a salary/hourly wage) and a duties test. Currently, to be considered exempt and not entitled to overtime pay, employees must pay at least $455/week equivalent to $1,972 per month or $23,660 per year. While last year's rule raising this limit has been blocked, most experts believe this threshold will be raised. However, it remains at this rather low threshold, thus denying millions of American workers the potential to make overtime wages. If you make less than the current threshold amount, then you are considered non-exempt and likely entitled to overtime pay whether you are paid hourly or on a salary basis. If you make more than the threshold, the analysis is more complicated. You may or may not be considered exempt depending on what "duties" you perform at your job. If your primary duties are executive, professional or administrative, then you may be considered exempt and not entitled to overtime pay regardless of the number of hours worked, and regardless if you are paid on a hourly or salary basis.

Due to the complex nature of the overtime analysis, if you have any wage or hour question, it is best to consult with an experienced Georgia FLSA attorney who can address any concerns you have and ensure you are earning all of the compensation you are entitled to.

For more information, please contact our dedicated Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal, LLP for an immediate, confidential consultation.

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