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Not paid for your overtime hours? You can do something about it

Numerous Tennessee residents work extra hours, either to increase their take-home pay or because their employers require it. Unfortunately, some end up putting in the time and fail to see the monetary benefit from doing so. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employees must be fairly compensated for their time on the job — including overtime. Those who are not may have legal recourse.

An article published earlier in 2019 addressed this very subject. In the 2018 fiscal year, the federal Wage and Hour Division recovered roughly $304 million in back pay and other damages for 265,000 employees who were not compensated fairly for their overtime hours. The complaints were made by employees who work in a variety of fields including medical, law enforcement, construction and food service — among others.

Once the DOL receives a claim regarding a wage and hour dispute, it investigates what is going on. Hourly employees are to be paid time and a half for any overtime hours worked. Salaried employees, on the other hand, do not have to be paid for their overtime. If, after a detailed investigation, an employer is found to have shorted its employees their overtime pay, the company may be fined, have to pay back pay to the affected individuals and may have to cover any additional damages.

Tennessee workers who have not been paid for their overtime, no matter their field of employment, do not have to stand by and let their employers get away with it. Nothing will change, and one’s employer will not be held accountable unless the matter is actually reported. An experienced attorney can assist those individuals who believe that they have been improperly compensated for their time on the job. If appropriate, legal counsel can also help file any applicable civil claims against one’s employer in an effort to seek fair and full compensation for any damages sustained.