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Kansas City Missouri Overtime Pay Law Blog

How to know if your salary status makes you eligible for overtime

You may have heard people say before that salaried employees are never eligible to work overtime and receive overtime pay. However, this misunderstood concept is actually not true. At Donelon, P.C., we have helped many workers in Missouri to receive adequate compensation in cases where their overtime pay is in question. 

While it is standard for non-salaried employees to be eligible to work overtime, there are actually some exceptions which could also make you eligible for this same benefit even if you are a salaried employee. According to Chron, when you are paid a salary, you have most likely signed or agreed to some kind of statement that indicates how many hours your employer expects you to work in a given time period. Based off of that agreement, you are paid a consistent amount of money each year. On the contrary, if you are not paid a salary, you will be paid according to how many hours you work during any given pay period. 

Supreme Court ruling puts class-action lawsuits in jeopardy

Class-action lawsuits have long permitted employees to sue employers who violate wage and labor laws. For years, this has spared employees the time and expense of having to litigate separate cases regarding the same issue. However, Supreme Court justices recently threw a wrench in this long-standing practice with a ruling that puts class-action lawsuits on the line.

Can you optimize your time to reduce the need to work overtime?

You have just received your schedule for the upcoming month and it is already quickly filling with appointments, meetings, presentations and research. Each of your responsibilities seems to come with a pressing deadline. Your responsibility is to manage your time and get it all finished. As with many other employees in Missouri, your first thought is to schedule some overtime hours to get everything done. However, have you ever considered finding ways to optimize your time to reduce the need to work overtime?

According to LinkedIn, there are several reasons why you may find yourself needing to work overtime to accomplish all of your assigned tasks. These reasons include the following:

  • Distractions: You may find that during the day when you are starting new projects, that frequent interruptions can turn into lengthy distractions that take you away from your work. Limiting these distractions and learning how to filter what is an immediate need and what can wait is imperative if you are going to use your time productively. 
  • People-pleasing: If you are someone who feels the intense desire to say yes to everyone and to be everything for everyone, you may find yourself working excessive overtime hours. While it is never a bad idea to help out, learning to say no and allow yourself time to take care of personal needs is important to maintaining a good work-life balance. 
  • Excessive meetings: Are you scheduling meetings for every little thing? Are there concerns that can be handled in other ways rather than meeting face-to-face? Save meetings for issues that require interpersonal connection and try to use alternative means of communication for everything else. 

Staffing deficits require prison nurses to work overtime

When employees of Missouri companies are asked to work extra hours outside of their designated hours, they have the right to be paid overtime. According to state and federal guidelines, employees should receive one and a half times their standard pay rate during all overtime hours worked. Any overtime pay that is accrued by employees should be received within the pay period it was earned. Companies who fail to abide by the law are subject to legal punishment. 

In a recent case out of Ohio, there has been a growing concern as prison nurses are being asked to work excessive overtime to make up the difference for a significant deficit in the number of needed employees. The problem stems from a shortage of registered nurses who are willing to work in a prison environment. Organizational leaders suspect that an environment as rigid as a prison may be a bit unsettling for many job seekers. However, the lack of interest in the profession has made it so that nurses working overtime has increased a stunning 60 percent since the year 2012. 

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.

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