Disputing Unpaid Overtime

Every company may fall victim to employee complaints regarding unpaid overtime and overtime disputes. These issues might seem small to some, but it can greatly affect the image and management of the company when they are not settled accordingly. Everyone knows how important it is for a company to have good rapport between the management and the workers, therefore resolving overtime disputes (or any type of company disputes) play a vital role in securing the growth of the company and its employees.

Unpaid overtime refers to the number of hours worked by an employee over the necessary 40-hour work week. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it is mandatory for employers to pay their employees overtime pay when they are working more than 40 hours in a given workweek. FLSA defines a regular “workweek” as seven consecutive 24-hour periods. Anyone eligible for overtime pay should be given increased payment when they exceed their 40-hour per week job.

Until recently, the only way to settle any unpaid overtime or any overtime disputes would be by filing a lawsuit and going to court. Even when the employers and employee choose to settle, they are still required by the court for an approval from the Department of Labor (DOL) courts. This is mainly to ensure that the settlement does not violate the rights of the employee in accordance with the FLSA. In a recent update, however, settling overtime disputes and providing employees with compensation for unpaid overtime may be done without the need to go to court. Moreover, employers are also required to make the settlement a public record, therefore making themselves vulnerable to lawsuits when other employee becomes aware of the settlement.

Several court decisions have determined that neither the FLSA or its rules and regulations prevent employers and employees from settling their unpaid overtime disputes privately at full value. When these settlements are deemed by the court has reached a good faith resolution, then despite no court or DOL approval the private agreement can be enforceable. Employees who believe they can settle their unpaid overtime with their employers should consult with an unpaid overtime lawyer in order to talk about possible solutions for resolving the overtime disputes.

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