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Ask The Lawyer By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.

| November 7, 2016

Dan Gwinn New Head ShotDO EMPLOYERS HAVE TO PAY WORKERS FOR UNAUTHORIZED OVERTIME?

QUESTION:  We had a big project recently, and one of our decided to stay late, working overtime without prior approval, in order to finish up (he was going on vacation the next week). Our company policy is that overtime has to be authorized, or it won’t be paid. Our employee says we have to pay him overtime, authorized or not.

ANSWER:     Hourly, non-exempt workers – those who are not on salary – must be paid overtime whenever they work more than 40 hours in a work week, under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This applies even where a company has a policy requiring prior authorization before any overtime can be worked. Bottom line: you’re on the hook for the overtime pay.

While you do have to pay your employee for the hours worked, he does not necessarily get off scot-free. A violation of company policy may justify disciplinary action: Just make sure the consequences of violating company policy are clearly spelled out in an Employee Handbook or otherwise disseminated to your staff, and that you follow consistent procedures.

The lawyers at GWINN TAURIAINEN PLLC are experienced attorneys and are happy to answer your questions. Give us a call for a free initial telephone consultation about your legal needs. For consideration of your questions in our web column, please submit your inquiry on the “Contact Us” page of our website at www.gwinntauriainenlaw.com.

ASK THE LAWYER
By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
GWINN TAURIAINEN PLLC
901 Wilshire Drive, Suite 550
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 247-3300
(248) 247-3310 facsimile
daniel@gwinnlegal.com
www.gwinntauriainenlaw.com

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