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5 steps to collecting unpaid overtime

If you work overtime and are a nonexempt employee, the law requires your employer to pay you a premium rate. While working longer or more frequent shifts may be tiring, it may be worth it due to the increase in pay. However, if you are not seeing your extra hours reflecting in your paychecks, your employer may be trying to avoid paying you what you deserve. 

You can report unpaid overtime and recover the wages you earned. Here is a basic overview of how to collect back pay from your employer.

1. Double-check that you are eligible

Before you complain to the human resources department or retain an attorney, confirm that your job is nonexempt. If your position is indeed nonexempt, you have a right to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

2. Document the pay you deserve

Next, you need to calculate the number of hours of overtime work you performed. Rely on as much documentation as you can, such as timesheets or personal journal entries. 

3. Talk to human resources

Once you collect proof of your overtime work, you should present it to the human resources department or an appropriate manager at your workplace. Once the correct party reviews and verifies your unpaid compensation, you should receive the proper wages shortly. If your employer disputes your argument or fails to pay you, you may need to take legal action. 

4. Get legal representation

If your employer refuses to pay you the wages you rightfully deserve, you do not need to simply back down. Consider filing a legal claim regarding the compensation you are due. 

5. Wait for the ruling

The last step is to wait for the outcome of your case. If the claim goes in your favor, your employer must pay you the difference. 

Do not let your employer avoid paying you overtime. It is crucial to understand and stand up for your workplace rights.

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