Wage and Hour Overtime Violations

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), along with state laws like the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL), regulates wages, hours of work, and overtime pay for most employers. Some employers, whether through greed, ignorance of the law, or some other reason, may not pay employees the wage to which they are entitled. This may include withholding overtime pay or paying a wage below the statutory minimum. An experienced Chicago wage law lawyer with knowledge of state and federal labor laws can assist you in understanding your rights and fighting for your just compensation.

How to Know When You Should Receive Overtime Pay

Overtime hours typically involve working more than forty hours in a week, or working more than eight hours in a day. “Non-exempt” employees are entitled to 1½ times their normal rate of pay for overtime hours. Some guidelines to help you determine if you are not receiving proper overtime pay include:

  • You are asked or demanded to work “off the clock”;
  • Your employer alters your timesheet to show forty or fewer hours worked in a week, even though you worked more;
  • Your employer clocks you out automatically for breaks, lunch, or at the end of the workday, whether you stop working or not;
  • Your employer denies you breaks during the work day;
  • You are denied overtime pay that a manager did not approve in advance;
  • You are not paid for required time spent getting ready for work or cleaning up after a shift; or
  • You receive less than minimum wage.
Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees

Certain employees are exempt from overtime and minimum wage laws. This exemption mostly applies to “white-collar” jobs with annual or monthly, as opposed to hourly, salaries. An employer may try to designate an employee as exempt when they are actually non-exempt. The laws regarding exemptions at the state and federal level can be complicated.

The Fair Labor Standards Act

The FLSA, first passed by the U.S. Congress in 1938 and found at 29 U.S.C. Chapter 8, established the eight-hour work day and forty-hour work week and set the stage for a federal minimum wage. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 amended the FLSA to set the federal minimum wage, as of July 24, 2009, at $7.25 per hour, although some states’ labor laws may set it higher.

Illinois Minimum Wage Law

The IMWL, found in the Illinois statutes at 820 ILCS 105, establishes a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour for adults in the state. It adopts most of the FLSA’s rules for overtime pay and workers who are exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements.

Unpaid Overtime: Know Your Rights

Non-exempt employees who are forced to work more than forty hours per week with no overtime pay, or who are asked to exchange overtime work for “comp days” or other benefits, may have a claim against their employer under the FLSA. Employers who knowingly and intentionally refuse to pay overtime compensation may be liable under the FLSA for penalties of double the amount of overtime pay plus attorney’s fees. Illinois law makes an employer who willfully withholds overtime pay liable to the employee for damages equal to two percent of the unpaid overtime amount.

Serving employees throughout the Chicago area, the wage law lawyers at Nationwide Consumer Rights bring decades of experience with wage and overtime hours litigation. We have dedicated our practice to helping employees around the country who are deprived of overtime pay or forced to work in violation of state and federal labor laws. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our Chicago wage law attorneys, please contact us online or at (877) 990-4990.

See also: Minimum Wage/Overtime Law, Illinois Department of Labor