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When You Are Misclassified as Exempt, You Lose Overtime Pay

In New Jersey, some employees are entitled to overtime pay and others are exempt. Those exempt from overtime include executive, administrative, computer technology and professional employees and outside sales representatives. Nonexempt employees who must be paid time-and-a-half overtime include hourly workers, typically in manufacturing and service positions.

There are some exceptions to these rules, particularly in the case of healthcare workers, but employers cannot simply create exceptions. It is a violation of the law when an employer categorizes an employee as exempt when in fact part of all of the employee’s work responsibilities are nonexempt.

Other key facts about the New Jersey overtime rules include:

  • Holiday and weekend work. Overtime pay is based on a 40-hour workweek. Time-and-a-half pay is owed only for hours in excess of 40, regardless of when they occur.
  • Can employee agree to straight pay? Neither the employee nor employer is allowed to change the rules. A nonexempt employee cannot “agree” to forgo overtime day that he or she deserves under the law.
  • Employer requires overtime work. As long as the employer is not violating a collective bargaining agreement, the employer can require employees to work overtime hours. They must be appropriately compensated.
  • Healthcare workers. Special rules apply to healthcare workers, but a healthcare facility cannot force overtime simply as a way to deal with chronic staff shortages. Overtime can be required only in short-term emergencies.

If you have been cheated out of overtime pay, you should speak with an NJ wage lawyer about ending the unfair practices and recouping lost wages from past offenses.

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Neil H. Deutsch
Senior Partner

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

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Bruce L. Atkins
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