– John R.
In Illinois, both federal and state law requires that employees receive overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a single week. However, there are several different exemptions from coverage under the law, which allow employers to avoid paying overtime wages to certain employees performing certain types of work.
Deciphering precisely when these exemptions apply is a notoriously complicated task. If you find that you have been denied pay that you have earned through overtime work, contact an Illinois overtime attorney at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew, & Apicella right away.
The law requires that when a non-exempt employee works overtime, he must be paid at the rate of 150 percent of his hourly pay rate (“time-and-a-half”) for the hours that he works beyond 40 hours in a single week. Employers may not avoid this requirement by offering “comp time” or by averaging the employee’s work hours over an 80-hour two-week period instead of a 40-hour week. If your employer has failed to pay you overtime wages that you have earned, you will need an experienced overtime attorney who will aggressively fight to ensure that you are fully compensated for your overtime work.
The law places the burden on the employer to support its application for an exemption from the overtime law. Generally, the following categories of employees are “exempt”:
– Outside sales professionals
– Executive and professional employees who are paid on salary
– Drivers, helpers, loaders and mechanics employed by motor carrier
– Agricultural workers
– Employees of seasonal or recreational establishments
Unfortunately, many employers will fail to pay overtime wages even when their employees are not clearly exempt. Employers may change an employee’s job title, or manipulate other administrative processes in an attempt to expand the reach of the statutory exemptions to cover as many of its employees as possible.
For example, the employer may assign the employee the title of “assistant manager” even though the employee’s duties are no different from those of the employees that he allegedly supervises. The employer may try to pay its employees a flat rate or commission. The employer might also fail to count certain duties as “work” time, including the time spent by a delivery person traveling between deliveries, mandatory preparation time or time spent “on-call.” This waiting time should be considered “work” time and should count when calculating overtime.
If you have been denied pay for overtime work, you could file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages or an injunction ordering your employer to pay your overtime wages. If you prevail, you could receive your back pay plus liquidated damages in an amount equal to your back pay. If you discover that you have been unlawfully denied overtime pay, you must act quickly.
If your employer has failed to pay you for overtime work, it is important that you consult with an attorney right away. Contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella today to speak to an experienced overtime compensation attorney. Your DGAA lawyer will aggressively pursue your claim and will fight to ensure that you are fully compensated for your overtime work. We have offices in Chicago and Cook County, and we serve clients throughout the greater Chicagoland area including Arlington Heights, Palatine, Des Plaines, Schaumburg, Crystal Lake and Wheeling.