Overtime and Record Keeping

Federal and state laws require employers to keep certain basic records about their employees and the wages and hours they work each week, largely to ensure that these workers are appropriately paid for their time. That includes overtime pay. If you believe your employer is not keeping complete and accurate employment records, or if you've been wrongly denied overtime pay, contact the Chicago Overtime Law Center to see how our Chicago overtime lawyers may be able to assist you. We have decades of combined experience in wage and hour law, and we are dedicated to ensuring that clients earn honest pay for an honest day's work.

Covered employees are generally entitled to be paid at a rate equal to 1½ times their usual hourly rate for all hours worked after 40 in a particular week. That means that a covered employee who usually earns $25 per hour must receive $37.50 per hour for any time worked beyond the 40-hour standard.

Poor record keeping not only can obscure the details of an individual’s employment situation, making it more difficult for him or her to earn overtime pay, but is also a violation of the law. The Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal law that mandates standards for minimum wages, overtime pay and other employment matters, requires employers to maintain records providing basic identifying information about each employee as well as data about the hours he or she works, and the wages he or she earns each week. That includes the total hours worked, regular pay rate, and total regular and overtime wages earned. The records must also include any and all deductions from this pay and the date of payment.

An employer who fails to keep these records (usually for 2-3 years) may be subject to penalties. More importantly, poor record keeping can also cause employees to miss out on an opportunity to earn overtime pay by deflating his or her weekly hours. In other words, if an employer fails to log all of a worker's hours in a week, the employee will have to work more hours than necessary to get to the 40-hour overtime threshold. This is a violation of the FLSA.

An employee denied overtime pay due to shoddy payroll record keeping or any other reason may sue his or her employer for back pay and other damages. At the Chicago Overtime Law Center, we understand that taking legal action against your employer is a difficult thing to do, especially in tough economic times. It is important to be aware that the FLSA protects workers who sue their employers for violations of the Act from retaliation (firing, demotion, etc.).

Based in Chicago, our team of overtime lawyers stands firmly by our clients each and every step of the way, working to resolve disputes without litigation while remaining ready to proceed through the courts when necessary. We provide aggressive representation on behalf of clients, and have successfully represented many employees in overtime claims in both state and federal courts.

Please contact us online or at (312) 869-4095 to set up a free and confidential consultation with one of our Chicago overtime attorneys.