There has been an observed increase in overtime claims in the U.S. as the economy took a downturn. There are two possible reasons among several for this increase that makes a lot of sense. One is that as money gets tighter, employers seek to recoup some of their losses by saving on labor. Another is that because overtime laws are complicated, many employers have a hard time understanding them, though they are willing to comply.
An article on the Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. website points out that employment laws in the U.S. affords considerable protection to employees for unpaid overtime. Employers who deliberately set out to shortchange their employees become liable for damages in civil litigation. However, claimants would need qualified legal representation to present their cases effectively because the relevant laws are complex, and open to interpretation. An experienced lawyer would be able to cite relevant case studies to support unpaid overtime claims.
In cases where employers inadvertently compel employees to render unpaid overtime due to an incomplete or incorrect understanding of overtime laws are often caught unawares when sued. It is true that some laws presume a clarity of circumstances that no longer currently applies. For example, it is estimated that up to 80% of employers in the U.S. are not in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is the basis for state overtime and other employment laws. This is because the FLSA was enacted in 1938 at a time when there was a clear distinction between what is a manager, an hourly employee, salesperson, and administrator which no longer exists today. However, ignorance of the law is not a defense, and employers remain liable for failing to get the necessary training to understand the fine distinctions that will keep them out of civil litigation.
When you work more than you expected, you should be fairly compensated. Unpaid overtime is a violation of employment laws, no matter the reason, and as such is subject to litigation. With the help of a qualified lawyer, employees can get the back pay they deserve.