Overtime Lawsuits Worth the Trouble?

What’s overtime? Overtime in California is essentially hours over eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. But the question is whether overtime lawsuits are worth the trouble.

The Problem

There are a lot of times when employers they give their employees way too much work to complete in the normal day. Then they pressure the employee to stay after hours or work from home, work during lunch, work during rest breaks, etc. Employees are generally entitled to breaks in California. It’s a big problem because the employers a lot of times don’t pay their employees for the time outside the overtime that they ended up working.

Entitled to Compensation

If employees ended up staying half an hour an hour two hours after the work day ends or they had to go home to complete their tasks, then the employee should be able to be should be compensated for that work. Employees need to be paid for their overtime obviously there’s a lot of exemptions which we could discuss later. But generally speaking, if an employee works overtime over eight hours a day or over 40 hours a week they need to be paid time and a half for that overtime.

What If I’m Salaried?

Am I entitled to overtime if I’m paid a salary? Let’s say you’re working at some company and you’re getting paid $40,000+ a year. Are you entitled to overtime? Generally speaking, yes you are entitled to overtime (subject to exceptions). Obviously there are going to be exemptions and exceptions. But just because a person is paid salary does not mean necessarily that they’re not entitled to overtime. For example let’s say you’re working at a restaurant and they decide to pay you $40,000 a year. But, they have you working 12-hour days… If you don’t fall under some specific exemption, you should be paid time and a half for the hours over eight hours. Up to a certain point you can get double-time. So it’s very important to make sure that you’re getting adequately compensated.

So Are Overtime Lawsuits Worth the Trouble?

Essentially overtime lawsuits very well could be worth it to go after employers, even if it’s just a few hours a day over a long period of time. This is also because the attorneys can go after attorney’s fees. There are attorney’s fees statues that say that say that if an employee is entitled to overtime wages then attorney’s fees can be collected on top of the wages that the employee is owed. So even if it’s a relatively low amount of damages, a little amount of overtime, it still could be a good lawsuit. Don’t be discouraged from seeking out an attorney if you feel like your case is not such a big case. It should be thoroughly evaluated by a competent employment attorney before making a decision as to whether or not to pursue your damages.

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