Can You Waive Your Right to Be Paid Overtime or Volunteer to Work for Straight Time Pay?
Here in Texas, we have various state and federal employment laws that protect workers from injustices such as unsafe working conditions and unfair wages. One of the most important protections Texas workers possess is the right to additional payment for any work performed in excess of 40 hours in a single workweek.
Overtime pay laws are critical to keeping American employees from being overworked and underpaid. Unfortunately, as much as these laws work in our favor, they can also work against us. Texas workers interested in making extra cash cannot legally waive their rights to overtime pay. Therefore, if an employer does not want to pay an employee’s overtime rate, the employee cannot volunteer to work for straight pay.
Can Texas Workers Opt Out of Overtime Pay?
Employees cannot volunteer to work without pay as their employers are legally obligated to compensate their workers for time worked. There is no legal way for a Texas employer to avoid paying employees overtime, but that does not stop some companies from trying.
Some employers have begun misclassifying their employees to render them exempt from overtime pay. Although misclassifying staff as overtime exempt benefits the employer, it is an illegal tactic that selfishly takes advantage of their hardworking employees.
Other Texas employers may offer compensatory time as a replacement for overtime pay. Compensatory time is paid time off given at a later date, allowing workers to waive their right to premium pay and instead substitute overtime pay with additional PTO. However, unless you are a governmental employee, this practice is highly illegal, and your employer may be breaking the law.
What You Should Know About Overtime Pay Laws in Texas
State and federal laws regarding overtime and employee rights are strict—and oftentimes complex—in Texas, but they are essential to ensuring that employers do not take advantage of their workers. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that all workers in the United States must be paid a wage of at least one and a half times their hourly rate for any overtime work performed.
Unfortunately, employee protection laws do not enforce themselves, which is why the Lore Law Firm has fought to defend workers’ rights both in and out of Texas courtrooms for over 25 years. Over that time, our firm has held numerous employers accountable for overtime wage theft. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars for thousands of workers nationwide.
Any Texas employer who disobeys federal or state overtime laws can be sued to recover unpaid wages. However, these laws are stuffed with legal jargon that many employees may find challenging to decipher. If you are unsure what your overtime pay rights are in your state or for your profession, discuss your situation with an experienced employee rights attorney today. Your lawyer will be familiar with the local and federal overtime laws and can launch an investigation into your company’s payment practices.
Contact a Texas Employment Law Attorney to Discuss Your Overtime Pay Rights
The hours you work must be compensated fairly and in accordance with state and federal laws. If your employer has asked you to relinquish your rights to overtime pay, you should consider seeking the help of an employment law attorney who can help you navigate the strict laws surrounding this subject. Any Texas employer who violates overtime laws exploits their hardworking employees and must be held accountable.
When you partner with Lore Law Firm, we will determine if your company complies with FLSA, state, and local overtime pay laws. If necessary, we can prepare your case for court and proceed with litigation to recover any wages that you may be owed.