Unpaid Overtime

If employers require workers to work overtime without extra pay, they may be violating the law. Workers who have been denied overtime pay may be entitled to recover unpaid wages and other damages. Courts throughout the country have consistently ruled that employers who require workers to work overtime without pay must pay money damages to the workers. These rulings are based on both state and federal law, as discussed below. Large recoveries have recently been obtained against employers such as large retail store chains and restaurant chains, as well as stock brokerage firms. However, all employers (not just large corporations) are required to follow applicable state and federal fair wage and hour laws.


The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides for, among other labor-related provisions, overtime pay. In addition, many states have wage-hour laws requiring employers to compensate employees for all time worked, including proper overtime compensation. All employers, regardless of their industries or fields of work, are required to abide by FLSA and certain state laws regarding compensation for wages and hours. If you suspect that your employer violated FLSA or a similar state law provision, please call or e-mail for a confidential, no-obligation case evaluation.

These types of claims can be brought either individually or as a class action. In either instance, Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. will handle meritorious cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that the firm does not collect a legal fee unless it recovers money for the client.


Employers frequently violate the FLSA and state wage/hour laws. Employees that are covered under FLSA and relevant state laws are entitled to compensation for all time worked and one and a half times their ordinary rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. For example, an employee who is normally paid $10 per hour is entitled to $15 per hour for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in a week. The employer is responsible to properly compensate employees for all time worked by the employee, including overtime, even if the employer did not know that the employee was working overtime.

Employers often try to avoid paying overtime in the following ways:

Having employees work “off the clock”;
Denying employees overtime pay when the overtime is not approved by management;
Paying employees their regular rate for overtime work;
Carrying over one week’s overtime hours into another week;
Using a timekeeping method that automatically “clocks out” employees either for lunch periods or at the end of a time period, regardless of whether the employees continue working for the clocked-out time;
Requiring employees to arrive early to perform necessary preparations for work, including putting on or removing protective gear;
Altering employees’ time sheets.


An employee is not exempt from overtime payment simply because she is paid the same salary every week, as opposed to by the hour. The most common FLSA exemptions for salaried employees apply primarily to professionals, such as doctors or lawyers, or high-level employees who have a considerable amount of discretion in conducting their affairs. Employees who are not exempt under FLSA or relevant state laws are entitled to be paid for all time worked in excess of 40 hours per week, regardless of their salaried status. Employers frequently violate FLSA by failing to pay overtime to salaried employees that the employer misclassifies as exempt. If you are a salaried employee and believe that you may have been misclassified as exempt from overtime pay by your employer, please contact Christopher J. Gray, P.C. for a confidential, no-cost case evaluation.


In addition to the ordinary overtime requirements discussed above, some states require more of employers. For instance, in California, an employee is entitled to time and a half for hours worked in excess of 8 hours per day, even if the employee works less than 40 hours during that week. There are many additional obligations of employers, including mandatory breaks during the work day, which vary from state to state.

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To see if you may have a case to recover your financial losses, call or e-mail Christopher J. Gray, P.C. for a confidential, no-cost consultation: