Unpaid Overtime and FLSA Information

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is one of the most important pieces of legislation ever enacted by the United States government. It established the first national set of rules and standards designed to protect workers by establishing a minimum wage, reducing the number of dangerous occupations that could employ children, and establishing overtime pay laws that mandated time-and-a-half pay for work beyond a certain or weekly or daily point.

Overtime Pay Laws:

Overtime pay is one of the foundations of the modern American workplace.  People expect to be compensated for their labor, and thus the FLSA is designed to prevent businesses from taking advantage of their workers by providing protection against:

  • Lost Wages
  • Unpaid overtime
  • Unpaid meal breaks
  • Working off the clock

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The FLSA recognized that people whose work did not revolve around a set schedule such as administrative, professional, and executive positions needed to be exempt from overtime pay laws due to the nature of their jobs. Some of these exemptions were eliminated over time while others grew exponentially.  These jobs include doctors, teachers, policemen, and others that need to have flexible schedules that are not compensated for overtime worked.  The vast majority of American workers do not fall into these categories, and thus are legally required to be compensated when they put in that extra effort.

Lost wages due to unpaid overtime

An important change to the FLSA came in August 2004 when lawmakers amended the document to clearly establish which jobs are exempt from overtime consideration. Millions of people who were once eligible for overtime pay now had their jobs "reclassified" into administrative, professional, or executive categories which means they would not be compensated for overtime worked.

It is believed that some employers arbitrarily changed their employees’ job classifications to exempt professions in order make them ineligible for overtime, even though these new "professional administrators or executives" had little or no specialized education, authority, or managerial discretion as outlined by the FLSA as qualifications for overtime exemption.  Consequently, millions of hardworking Americans and now being forced to work long hours without fair compensation for their labor.

Lost Wages and Unpaid Overtime

These lost wages due to unpaid overtime could potentially add up to millions of dollars stolen from the pockets of hardworking Americans that deserved them.

Working off the Clock

Furthermore, many other employers began to abuse the FLSA by making their employees work off the clock in clear violation of overtime pay laws.  Other violations include making workers take unpaid meal breaks off the clock in spite of agreements that allow employees to have compensated breaks and meals. 

When employers begin to abuse the law to serve their own ends, then they are not only taking advantage of the workers they cheat, they are also violate the trust every American places in their jobs. Most of the employees affected by the change in the FLSA are in a very vulnerable position; to speak up against company actions that appear to be reinforced by government policy is a daunting task, particularly if the threat of termination is involved. The actions of brave individuals such as yourself strike a blow not only for your coworkers, but every hardworking American everywhere that are not compensated for overtime worked.

Employer Abusing FLSA

If you suspect that your employer is abusing the changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act or failing to adhere to other labor laws, you need to contact an experienced FLSA attorney immediately. You should consider legal action against your employer if your job classification was arbitrarily changed in order to take advantage of the changes in the law or if you are the victim of various other labor law infractions.  If you are the victim of unpaid overtime or have lost wages due to abuses of overtime pay laws, talk to a knowledgeable attorney at once. Don't wait - you deserve justice today.

Information on California Labor Laws:

California's Labor Laws are extensive and cover many different areas.

The entire body of Labor Law Code is arranged in GENERAL PROVISIONS. Each area is called a DIVISION. There are 5 DIVISIONS of the Code.


Within the DIVISIONS are PARTS. Within the PARTS are CHAPTERS. Under each CHAPTER you'll find the ARTICLES.

When reading the California Labor Law Guide use the Table of Contents to find which section of the law you need. As an example of how the Labor laws read and look - we have provided an example.


SECTION 4451-4459

4451. Average annual earnings shall be taken as fifty-two times the
average weekly earnings referred to in this chapter.

4452. Four times the average annual earnings shall be taken at not
less than four thousand eight hundred dollars and sixty-four cents
($4,800.64) nor more than fifteen thousand two hundred dollars and
sixty-four cents ($15,200.64) in disability cases, and in death cases
shall be taken at not less than the minimum nor more than the
maximum limits as provided in Section 4702 of this code.

4452.5. As used in this division:
(a) "Permanent total disability" means a permanent disability with
a rating of 100 percent permanent disability only.
(b) "Permanent partial disability" means a permanent disability
with a rating of less than 100 percent permanent disability.

If you are unsure about how the California Labors Laws affect you. Contact our Labor Law Attorneys today.

Labor Law Attorneys available in these States:

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Site Description: Unpaid overtime, lost wages and California Labor Laws updated 5/07/2009