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Can You Sue If Your Employer Fails to Pay Overtime?

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, with US corporate offices are here in Georgia, was the subject of a recent Supreme Court hearing on the subject of unpaid overtime owed to their sale representatives. The sales representatives claimed they were asked to work extra hours although receiving only their ordinary pay. The GlaxoSmithKline case is one of many such cases before courts. According to a recent report in USA Today, the number of cases involving unpaid overtime has increased 32% since 2008.

Experts differ as to the reason for the upswing in these cases. However the methods employers use to deny overtime pay to their employees are common to most of these cases:

  • Job description misclassification. Many management and other higher level jobs do not entitle employees to overtime pay.  These salaried employees are exempt. Some employers try to deliberately misclassify employees as performing these kinds of jobs in an effort to save money on overtime.
  • Forcing employees to work off the clock. Unscrupulous employers may try to force employees to clock out but continue working without additional pay. These employers sometimes make implied, if not explicit, threats that the employees will lose their jobs if they protest.
  • Telecommuting with computers and smart phones. Many employees claim that with the proliferation of technology, they are constantly on-call, even outside of regular working hours. While their bosses infringe on their personal time, these employees receive no overtime pay for that extra work time.

If you believe that you have been the victim of an unscrupulous employer refusing to pay you for your overtime work, you may be entitled to compensation. Georgia law requires that employers pay at least 1.5 times the minimum wage for overtime to their employers. Contact a qualified employee protection attorney at today to find out more about your rights under the law.

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