Your strong work ethic makes you an asset to your employer, but it’s important to realize when you are being taken advantage of. Here are five signs you need to look out for before you fall victim.
Working Overtime Without Compensation
Staying late at work may happen occasionally, but when you routinely find yourself working more than 40 hours a week it is time to reevaluate your path with a certain employer. Although laws vary by state, by and large, the common practice is to pay workers time and a half when they work overtime. Salaried employees, volunteers, and contract workers are among those who are typically not entitled to overtime but that is not always the case. For example, many workers in high tech positions and managers are salaried but, after an analysis of their day to day job duties, it is often discovered that they have been misclassified as exempt from overtime pay. The same goes for volunteers at certain types of events. A careful analysis of job duties and the work environment are necessary to determine whether or not someone is owed overtime pay.
Lunch is a Luxury
Not only is skipping lunch bad for your health, it’s illegal if you work a certain number of hours per day. Under California Law, if you are a non-exempt worker, you are entitled to meal and rest breaks: a 30-minute meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a workday and 10 minutes breaks for every 4 hours you work. If meal break violations are made, your employer should be fairly compensating you for those missed periods.
Your Employer Expects You to be On-Call
You might not be working in a traditional sense, but when an employer expects you to be on-call, you could be entitled to a bump in pay. You are more likely to receive compensation if your employer limits the distance you can travel from work, what you may do on-call, and how timely you must respond to a work request. For example, if a computer specialist is required to answer multiple complex questions in a short amount of time, the specialist should be compensated.
Your Boss Blatantly Ignores You’re Overloaded With Work
Is your employer looking the other way while you work through lunch? Managers may claim ignorance, but many companies have policies in place that will punish your superiors for not properly tracking your work hours. This year, Payless Shoes Inc. agreed to pay nearly $3 million in unpaid overtime to multiple managers who performed “non-managerial duties such as operating cash registers, cleaning, greeting customers, and answering phones.”
You Clock-In Once Convenient For Your Employer
If you are required to come to work at a certain time but are not allowed to clock-in until you are needed, your rights could be violated. For example, if you work at a call center and are not allowed to leave the building to run errands, you should still be getting paid downtime between calls.
Always keep a copy of your company’s policies on hand and review it often. If you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, your intuition could be correct. Follow us on Facebook or contact us to learn more about your rights and what you’re entitled to.