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Kansas City Missouri Overtime Pay Law Blog

What to do if your employer is not giving you your overtime pay

When an employee in a Missouri company works more than 40 hours in a workweek, and he or she is not overtime exempt, it is natural to expect the paycheck to reflect the time-and-a-half pay for each hour of overtime. If the paycheck is much less than expected based on the minimum rate, the employee may want to explore the reasons for it. 

An employer that refuses to correct the issue may believe that the employee will have little recourse. However, federal and state laws protect employees from being taken advantage of in this way. According to the Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, the employee may call or email the Division of Labor Standards and fill out a complaint form in order to request an investigation

Can financial institutions require employees to work overtime?

You love your job in the financial industry, but just recently your employer has been requiring that you work overtime. Maybe you're a single mom, or a busy dad with kids, and you barely get enough quality family time as it is.

Compliance with federal overtime laws vary from state to state

While many companies in Missouri pay strict attention to complying with the federal guidelines for paying overtime, it can be complicated at times with the differing regulations on a state level. In fact, the specific rules required by state government can create confusion and leave employers struggling to define exactly what protocols to adhere to. 

According to the United States Department of Labor, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate their employees for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a regular work week. This compensation should be one and a half times their usual pay. There are very few exceptions to this rule. Employers should also note that they are required by federal law to pay the added compensation in the same pay period as it was earned by deserving employees. 

Understanding how overtime pay may affect you

While the concept of overtime pay may seem relatively clear to you, it can be a bit confusing at times. In situations where deciphering whether or not overtime pay is applicable to your earnings, you may be left trying to decide if you should even approach your employer. At Donelon, P.C., we have helped many people in Missouri to understand how overtime pay works and to receive adequate compensation in situations where they may be left underpaid. 

According to payscale.com, it is important to remember that even if you are an employee who is paid a salary, you may not be eligible for overtime benefits. Often, employers will determine your eligibility by assessing your job responsibilities and how much money you are making in a given time period. That being said, the overtime benefits you have access to will vary depending on who you work for and how they have decided to implement their payroll structure. 

How can you tell if you are an independent contractor?

If you are part of the workforce in Missouri, chances are you value your job. Even though it may be stressful at times, your career allows you the chance to learn and strengthen your skills and to afford a living on top of that. Understanding your title is imperative to making sure you receive all of the benefits you deserve. So, how can you tell if you are an independent contractor?

According to the Internal Revenue Service, whether or not an individual is considered an independent contractor varies from situation to situation. If you are self-employed and do not receive instruction in regards to how you complete the work you do, you are considered an independent contractor. If you report to someone and your actions and obligations are overseen by a superior or controlled by an employer, you are considered an employee. It is important to note that even in situations where you may be entrusted with several responsibilities and given freedom, as long as you are still required to report to someone else, you are still considered an employee. 

The companionship services exemption

At the law office of Donelon, P.C., in Missouri, we understand that some of the exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act can be confusing. If you provide care for an elderly or disabled person, you may have some questions about how your employers should pay you, and whether you may qualify for overtime.

The U.S. Department of Labor explains the rule for the companionship services exemption.

Classification of child care center determines overtime exemption

The Fair Labor Standards Act lists a number of professions that are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime laws. Teachers in Missouri are among those listed, so even when they routinely work more than 40 hours per week, their employers do not have to pay them more. Some child care centers call their employees teachers, Chron.com points out. Are these workers exempt?

The answer is not always straightforward, but one case illustrates the particular eligibility requirements of a child care facility before it can claim the teacher exemption for its employees. Bloomberg BNA relates that the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division investigated a child care center and filed a lawsuit against the employer because its workers were not paid 1.5 times their hourly rate for the hours they worked past 40 each week. 

Does your travel time count toward your total hours worked?

Your Missouri employer pays you hourly wages and sometimes requires you to travel from one worksite to another, to conferences and trade shows, and to meetings with vendors. Your supervisor says time spent in the vehicle does not count as part of your workday, and as a result, you must often stay after business hours to make up the time. Is your employer cheating you out of your rightfully earned overtime pay?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the Fair Labor Standards Act specifically addresses when a nonexempt employee's travel time is eligible for compensation

If you work for commission, overtime can be a sore subject

Some mortgage officers enjoy the completely commission-based model of employment, with good reason.

Commission can be a great way for an employee to bet on himself or herself. Basing pay completely on performance can lead to higher paydays and better rewards for hard work.

Misclassification could cost workers their overtime pay

Many workers in Missouri who regularly spend more than 40 hours each week performing job duties may expect to receive overtime pay, or time-and-a-half, for the extra hours. However, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to pay independent contractors overtime pay, and because of this, some companies intentionally misclassify workers

But how can people determine whether they are independent contractors or employees? The IRS explains that the answer may not be straightforward, as there are several factors that must be considered.

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