Overtime pay is an additional amount enjoyed by employees for spending work hours that is beyond the required limit for every day or week. But there are some common overtime mistakes that prevent employees for enjoying this extra payment that they reasonably worked for.

"Salaried" employees are not entitled to overtime

Probably one of the most common overtime mistakes is the belief that employees who are paid in salary, as opposed to being paid in wage, are not entitled to overtime. The basis for this belief is the overtime exemption requirement. "Exempt" employees are those who are in executive, administrative or professional positions. However, being exempt and being paid in salary is not similar. There are employees who are paid in salary and are still entitled for overtime, but there are also people who are paid hourly who don't get overtime pay. Salaried employees can have overtime, unless they meet the requirements for an exempted employee, which depends on the laws of the state. In Texas, all employees get to receive overtime pay, unless their salary is at least $455 per workweek and if they're duties are those that are recognized overtime exemptions.

Unauthorized overtime will be denied

There are employers or companies that have a policy which states that employees are not allowed to work overtime unless it is approved. Some companies even go as far as suspending or terminating an employee if he disobeys it. Therefore, the company will not pay for the overtime hours if it is not notified in advance. However, the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) did not specify any rules regarding an approved or rejected overtime, so the employer is just required to give overtime pay to employees if they did. Some states implement a law requiring employers to pay for overtime if the employee worked for more than 40 hours in a workweek.

Improper Deductions (e.g. meal breaks)

Many states prohibit the employers from deducting any amount from their employee's paycheck if it is not approved or does not benefit the employee. Some restaurants, for example, put deductions for activities or offenses, like damaging a restaurant equipment, meal breaks or credit card fees. In case of a lawsuit by the employee, the employer should prove his working hours and the hours the employee consumed in taking meal breaks (a full lunch break is usually subject for deduction). That is why it is important to have employees clock in and out every time they go for meal breaks.