Over the last 27 years that the HR Services Hotline has operated, wage and hour questions are always in the top 3 call subjects. Below is a very common situation we have been approached with and below is our response.
Q: We have a policy stating that all overtime work must be preapproved. All employees sign off on that policy, as well as others. We have several employees who continually turn in timesheets with unauthorized overtime hours. I know we are required to pay the hours worked, even without approval, however, our CFO tells me to not pay the overtime. Help!
A: You are correct. By law, you need to pay the overtime worked. All employers must pay their nonexempt staff for all hours worked, whether approved or not. If the hours worked exceeds 40 hours in a workweek (or over 8 hours in a day in some states), you must pay time and one half the nonexempt workers regular rate of pay for the hours exceeding 40 hours in a workweek (or 8 in a day in some states).
You can, and should, have a discussion as to why these employees are violating your organization’s policies, repeatedly. If this is simply a blatant disregard for the rules, then coaching, counseling and possibly termination of employment, may be warranted. There may be valid reasons why there is continued overtime worked.
By refusing to pay, you are violating the law, both federal and state and the potential for a wage and hour violation claim is simply not worth it. Pay for all time worked and get to the root of the issue.
If wage and hour questions keep you up at night or any other HR conundrum is making you pull your hair out, remember, you have HELP! Contact us via email or phone: HRServices@501c.com and (800)359-2163.