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Can companies refuse to pay workers for overtime hours?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2023 | Employment Law

Hourly workers in Idaho understand that each paycheck that they earn will reflect the value of the number of hours they worked, according to the hourly rate of pay outlined in their employment contracts. Many workers try to get as close to 40 hours as possible. Others may even seek overtime.

Putting in more than 40 hours can lead to better hourly pay. Federal regulations require that employers pay at least 150% of someone’s standard hourly wage for any overtime worked. Therefore, quite a few companies try to minimize or eliminate overtime pay.

Can a business in Idaho refuse to pay someone overtime wages?

Companies do not have to offer overtime scheduling

There is no rule requiring that companies permit workers to put in overtime. Every business has control over worker scheduling and can potentially limit worker shifts to prevent them from qualifying for overtime pay. Many companies go so far as to require written approval from management or human resources for a worker to continue working after they hit that 40-hour mark during a specific pay period. So long as a business does not allow someone to work more than 40 hours, that policy is completely permissible.

However, companies cannot refuse to pay a worker for the work that they have already performed. If a worker is on the clock for more than 40 hours, then the company has an obligation to pay them proper overtime wages regardless of the internal policy at the business. Recognizing that a denial of overtime wages is a violation of the law might motivate employees to pursue a wage claim for the pay that they deserve.