A Law Career

Why Your Department Store Manager Didn't Pay You Overtime

by Ruby Mckinney

If you work in a department store, you may have experienced working overtime without getting paid. This is a common problem affecting many retail workers, especially during peak seasons or when there is a staff shortage. You might wonder why this happens and what you can do about it.

Why Some Employers Don't Pay Overtime

Overtime pay is required under the US labor laws. However, some employers avoid paying overtime for several reasons, such as:

  • Some employers may be unaware of the requirement to pay overtime
  • They might claim they cannot afford to pay overtime
  • Employers may even think they won't get caught if they violate the law
  • They might believe that it's cheaper to do so because so few employees file unpaid overtime claims
  • Some employers manipulate time records or ask employees to work off the clock

These practices are illegal and unfair, depriving you of your hard-earned money and right to a fair wage.

Your Rights as an Employee

You're entitled to overtime if not exempt under the FLSA. Maintaining precise documentation of the time you've put in at work and the compensation you've received for your efforts is essential. This can help ensure that you're fairly compensated for your labor and can help resolve any disputes that may arise.

If you believe your workplace rights have been violated, you can submit a formal grievance to the Department of Labor. You can also sue your employer. While doing so, they cannot retaliate.

How to Receive Help

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for overtime pay or whether your employer is violating the FLSA, you can contact the DOL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) for assistance. You can also speak with an overtime pay attorney.

Take Back Your Overtime Pay

If you believe that your employer owes you overtime pay, you can take the following steps to claim it:

  • Gather evidence of your hours worked and your pay received
  • Reach out to your employer and ask for your unpaid overtime in writing 
  • Include an explanation of how much you are owed 
  • Explain how you arrived at that figure
  • Keep a copy of the letter for your own records

Your employer might not respond and continue to not pay you. At that point, you can file a complaint with the WHD and speak with your overtime attorney about your other options. Act quickly, as a statute of limitations exists for filing a claim.

Do not let your employer take advantage of you. You can recover your unpaid wages and prevent future violations by taking action. For more information, contact an overtime pay attorney near you.