The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay time-and-a-half (1.5x) of a non-exempt employee’s wage when they work overtime hours. A non-exempt employee becomes overtime eligible when they reach 40 hours in a given week. This raises an important question: Can my employer shift hours to the next week to avoid overtime? The answer is a clear ‘no’—the FLSA bars employers from adjusting time worked to dodge overtime. In this blog post, our Hartford, CT wage and hour attorneys explain the most important things to know about the FLSA, overtime pay, and shifting of hours worked to future pay periods.
FLSA Requirements: Employers Must Accurately Log Worker Hours
Employers are subject to strict record-keeping requirements under the FLSA. When a business or organization in Connecticut employs a non-exempt worker, that employer has a legal responsibility to accurately record the amount of time that they worked. Employers cannot shift hours worked between pay periods to avoid overtime pay. As an example, imagine that a non-exempt construction worker in Hartford County, Connecticut earns $30 per hour. In the first week, the worker puts in 43 hours, and in the second week, the worker puts in 36 hours. Here is how they should be paid under the FLSA:
- Legal Wage and Hour Practice: 40 hours of straight times wages ($30) and 3 hours of overtime wages ($45) for week one. 36 hours of straight time wages ($30) for week two.
- Illegal Wage and Hour Practice: 40 hours of straight time wages ($30) for week one. 39 hours of straight times wages ($30) for week two.
In the example, the unlawful wage and hour practice would be the shifting of three overtime hours from the first week until the following pay period, when the employee worked fewer than 40 hours. The practice is sometimes referred to as the “banking” of overtime hours. It is clearly prohibited by the FLSA.
FLSA Enforcement Example: Prohibited Shifting of Overtime Hours
In 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) ordered a contractor in Central Florida to pay nearly $17,000 in back overtime wages to employees after an investigation revealed that it was “banking” overtime hours—improperly shifting them to a future pay period. In that case, the employer was awarding employees future pay time off as a straight wage hourly rate to dodge overtime requirements. Regardless of the specific structure, it is unlawful under the FLSA. Employers cannot shift hours to future pay periods to avoid overtime.
Get Help From a Hartford, CT Wage and Hour Attorney Today
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Connecticut wage and hour lawyers are standing by, ready to protect your rights. If your employer improperly shifted your hours to a separate pay period, thereby denying you overtime pay, we can help. Call us now or contact us directly online for a fully confidential review of your case. Our law firm represents employees in Hartford, New Haven, and all around the surrounding communities in Connecticut.