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Not getting paid for OT - legal?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FuturaBold, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    I had a friend call a few days ago and tell me his paper isn't paying him for OT hours worked anymore. He turned in like 43 hours or something like that (he's paid by the hour) and they only paid him for 40, saying the OT wasn't authorized. Is that legal?

    It's not like being a sports reporter, especially at a smaller shop like his, is an assembly line type job. Sometimes things happen. Your computer crashes. The game goes extra innings. Someone else screws up and it takes you time to fix their mistakes.

    I could understand if he turned in 55 hours but good grief sometimes you can't always time it just right and hit 40 on the dot.
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    First of all, we don't really know the whole situation here. What's the overtime policy? Did it have to be pre-authorized in the past? If they're springing this new policy on him without any warning instead of starting it with the new pay period, then that's pretty shitty but I don't know that it's worth his while to fight for a measly three hours of time-and-a-half if they're going to be hard-asses about it.

    He just has to make sure in the future to cut himself off at 40 hours, no exceptions. If it means a story doesn't get written, oh well. Cut it off. Go home. Don't let them abuse you like that.

    You've got to look out for yourself.

    It IS illegal to work and not get paid for it. If your job requires you to work 43 hours and they're only going to pay you for 40, then you work 40 and get out of there. They can't fire you for refusing to do something illegal. And if they do, get a lawyer.

    Know your rights.
  3. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Woo-hoo! Four-day weekend!
  4. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    futurabold is friends with frederick?
  5. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Pretty sure it doesn't matter if it's pre-authorized or not. If you work 43 hours, and you can prove it and all, they have to pay you for 43 hours. They can tell you not to, but if you do, they have to pay you anyway.

    Now, I'm pretty sure what they can also do is say "If you work overtime again, you're fired." And unless you can prove that they forced you to work the time and then fired you for it, you're probably S.O.L., especially if you live in a right-to-<s>work</s>fire state.
  6. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    Mr. Burns called. He said if you don't show up tomorrow, don't bother coming in Monday!
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    This is kind of what I meant to say. Yours is better.

    That said, I'm not sure they *have* to pay you if you specifically go against orders to not work overtime. But it'd have to be a specific policy that the employee violated and they'd have to be consistent about enforcing it both ways -- they can't allow some workers to get away with working 45 hours and not getting paid for it, if that's the policy. And they can't pay OT to some workers and then deny it to Futura's friend because he went over by 3 hours.

    So they probably do have to pay him for it this time, but they're well within their rights to go all Lou Brown on him and say "Don't ever fucking do it again."
  8. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Anyone else's state have certain professions that are exempt from OT pay. I remember reading a labor document posted by the time clock at my last shop listing the exempt professions: Taxi cab drivers, radio announcers, and journalists were a few of them.
  9. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    Salaried workers are 'exempt' from overtime, only because employers can say that the hours fell under the parameters of their job. If you are paid hourly, and you work over the hours you are paid for and you are not compensated, that is against every labor law in America.
  10. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    Not exactly true. If an employer has a policy which states that an employee cannot work overtime without the consent of management and the employer has not consented and truly does not know that the employee was working the additional hours, then the employer does not have a duty to pay for the unauthorized hours.

    Remember, just because you are exempt from overtime as a matter of the FLSA or state laws doesn't mean that an employer can't agree to pay you by the hour. Also, just because you are on a salary, it does not mean that you are not legally entitled to overtime. It depends on the duties which you actually carry out and whether that fits into an exemption from overtime rules. Some of the biggest cases in employment law this decade have involved these issues.
  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    What was that thing on "The Office" last night where Pam, the receptionist (for those in ostrich-like position), says she was happy to go on the road trip with her boss because it meant three days of "24 hours of pay" while they were gone?

    Look, I know it's just a sitcom and everything. But I have never heard of anyone getting paid from the moment a trip begins until the moment it ends, in our stinking business or any other. Do some companies roll that way re: travel? Sign me up.
  12. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    Who's Lou Brown?
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