As the economy continues to struggle, businesses are increasingly hiring part-time or contract workers to save costs. Costs are controlled because these workers do not receive benefits ― an expensive overhead for businesses to cover.
One small business owner states a benefit package costs between 20 and 28 percent on top of the base salary, as reported by CNN Money. This additional expense is eliminated with the use of hourly workers.
Although most businesses provide hourly employees with the pay they are entitled to, in an effort to cut corners, some employers may neglect to pay the full amount employees have rightfully earned. This can be done by falsely reporting hours and result in unpaid overtime.
Federal and Missouri Labor Laws
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prescribes standards for minimum wage and overtime pay, impacting over 130 million workers. The Act requires employers provide a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, and $2.13 for tipped employees for a 40 hour work week. Any hours worked in excess of the 40 hour work week require overtime compensation.
In addition to federal requirements, Missouri law requires overtime compensation for non-exempt employees who work over 40 hours a week. It specifies the rate at one and a half times the regular rate for excess hours, but also stipulates the fact that the FLSA does not require overtime pay for working more than eight hours in a single day or work completed over weekends or holidays.
Further, overtime is calculated for each individual workweek — the calculation cannot be an average of hours over a span of two or more weeks. The workweek does not need to coincide with a calendar week, but must span 168 hours and payment for overtime work is required within a reasonable period of time.
Penalties Associated with Violations
If an employer violates the FLSA’s requirements, penalties and sanctions may apply. A violation can be reported to the Department of Labor, and an investigation will ensue.
Compensation for lost wages is available for victims of unpaid overtime practices. If you or a loved one was not properly compensated for hours worked, it is important to contact an experienced unpaid overtime attorney to ensure all rights and remedies are protected.