Overtime and Wage Law

The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA is a Federal law affecting Georgia employees and businesses. In a Bill known as the Wages and Hours Bill, the Federal government legislated protection for employees against unscrupulous employers. The law guarantees that if a worker works beyond 40 hours a week, they would be paid time and a half, or overtime.

In Georgia, the FLSA Act applies to "employees who are engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or who are employed by an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce" unless the employer is exempt. If the employer who does $500,000 worth of gross sales per year or more, then they would be subject to the FLSA's protections, barring another exemption.

One major exemption is "white collar"which applies to professional, administrative and executive employees. To get the exemption, the employer must prove that the employees fit "plainly and unmistakenly" within the exemption. Just because your company stuck the word "executive" in front of your job title does not mean they can cheat you by not paying overtime.

They Tell Me I am an Independent Contractor. Can I Get Overtime?

As many Atlanta, Georgia businesses have learned the hard way, just calling an employee an "independent contractor" will not exempt the employee from the FLSA rules Courts examine the "economic reality" of the relationship between the employer and the worker to determine if they are exempt.

Many hardworking Georgians in Atlanta and around the state work in ignorance of their rights as employees under this law. Did you know that time spent for travel time between job sites, activities before and after their shift starts, or activities to prepare for work that are central to the job all have to be done on the clock and count towards the 40 hour work week? If the employer is asking you to do these activities on your own time, they a breaking the law and taking advantage of you.

The employee is entitled to be paid one and one-half the employee's "regular rate of pay" for all hours worked over 40.

Another shift in the law occurred when some low level employees (mostly administrative support staff) who were previously classified as exempt are now non-exempt. Ever notice how every secretary suddenly became an "executive assistant?" That was an attempt by the bosses to get around paying overtime.

The 2004 amendment to the FLSA requires that an exemption must be based upon actual job function, not job title. Those workers with job titles that previously allowed exemption whose job descriptions do not include managerial functions are now non-exempt.

Statute of Limitations for Overtime in Georgia

Be aware that the statute of limitations only allows you to recover Georgia overtime pay worked within two years of the claim. In some situations where we can prove that your Georgia employer willfully violated the law, the statute of limitations can be extended to three years.

Has Your Boss Ever Asked You to Work Off the Clock?

If you work in Georgia and have been putting in hours at your job "off-the-clock" you should know that is illegal and you are entitled to your fair pay under the law. Please contact the firm to examine your situation in detail to see whether we can help you.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Caller: I was wanting clarification on the labor laws. I was hired as a controls engineer with the statement saying I get over time when I am working on site. Fore the second time now, my boss has changed my hours and says he is not paying me overtime because we misquoted the job and he doesn't want to lo

I think he is being dishonest and want to call him on it, but have the proper documentation

Answer: The first issue with overtime is always whether the employee has non-exempt status. As an engineer, the needle can tip more in the exempt direction. In this case, it turns out the employee had only lost $800 so far. Assuming the employee is non-exempt, yes the boss owes it, but if you like your job, it is not worth fighting over. Find a creative solution and work it out with your boss. Choose your battles.

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