The nation’s overtime laws are one of the most frequently misunderstood and violated employment laws. Employees who work long hours deserve to be paid accordingly. Working long shifts with fewer days off is not easy, and the pay should be commensurate with the work performed. The nation’s overtime laws are also supposed to protect employees from oppressive hours.
If you believe that you may have a claim for unpaid overtime wages, you should contact an experienced St. Louis employment law attorney. An attorney can help examine your case to determine if additional compensation was required. Furthermore, in the event that a lawsuit needs to be filed to help recover your lost wages, an attorney can assist in that process.
An Overview of Missouri Overtime Laws
Missouri’s overtime laws closely track the federal overtime laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under both Missouri and federal law, if an employee who is paid an hourly wage works more than 40 hours in a workweek, that employee is entitled to be paid one and a half times their normal rate of pay.
A workweek is defined as a continuous period of seven days beginning and ending at a set point. This means that for some employees, the workweek may be calculated from Sunday to Saturday, but other employees may have it calculated from Tuesday to Wednesday, or other seven-day periods. Once the seven-day period is established, it does not change. Any time spent working in excess of 40 hours during that period is compensable as overtime rather than the employee’s base rate of pay.
Exemptions to Overtime Laws
The overtime laws, as written, are relatively simple to understand, however, the patchwork and myriad exemptions are quite complex. Overtime is payable to all employees generally unless an exception would apply to that particular group of employees.
The most commonly applied overtime exemption provisions are the white-collar overtime exemptions. Persons classified as executives, administrative employees, creative professionals, are exempt from the overtime laws.
Exempt executives are any employees who are compensated via salary and hold some type of managerial responsibility supervising other employees. Administrative employees are those compensated by salary or on a fee basis of less than $455.00 per week but have duties relating to the general operations of the business. Professional creative employees are those whose work either requires specialized knowledge in advanced fields or whose work requires innovation and imagination.
Additionally, computer professionals such as IT staff and outside sales employees are also exempt from the overtime laws. The computer professional exemption explicitly does not include employees engaged merely in hardware repair or who staff customer help lines. In other words, this does not include software engineers, but rather includes more innovative and managerial level technical staff. Outside sales professionals are employees who, as implied by the title of the exemption, work in sales and are primarily engaged in business outside of the employer’s regular place of business (for example, door to door sales staff).
Schedule a Meeting with a St. Louis Unpaid Overtime Lawyer Today
If your employer is refusing to properly compensate you for overtime work, you should reach out to the legal team at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP. Our firm is comprised of St. Louis employment attorneys with experience helping clients with unpaid overtime claims. For immediate assistance, do not hesitate to contact our team today.