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Common Federal Overtime Violations by Defense Contractors

This is Part 1 of our three part series regarding overtime violations among Department of Defense contractors.  After you read this article, be sure to check out Part 2 (Why Defense Contractors Violate) and Part 3 (Nationwide Study Reveals Defense Contractors Most Common Overtime Violator Among Federal Contractors).

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If you have been following the defense industry, you have noticed a lot of recent overtime lawsuits against Department of Defense contractors.

These claims are typically filed in federal court under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA) and make a variety of allegations. Here are some common ones:

Straight time for overtime.

Paying straight time for overtime fine for employees who are working overseas.

But, when those workers perform work in the United States, even if it the same work they performed overseas, the workers are entitled to overtime.

Paying a salary only.

This is something common to many industries and the defense contractor industry is no different. Just because a worker is paid a salary does not mean that they are not also entitled to overtime. To be exempt from overtime, the worker must also have job responsibilities that meet stringent FLSA requirements. When a salaried employee is entitled to overtime, they are entitled to an additional compensation on top of their salary for all hours worked over forty in a week.


Working off the Clock.

For a variety of reasons, employees of defense contractors often work off the clock for no pay.

Sometimes it is because of an aggressive supervisor trying to achieve a lower labor cost.

Other times, the defense contractor is allotted only a certain number of hours per day or per worker in its contract with the federal government, and does what it takes to stay within that.

Regardless, if an employee is working, federal law requires he or she be paid for that time and supervisors and companies violate the law by requesting that you work for free.

Production Bonuses, Shift Differentials Not Calculated into Overtime Rate.

When employees receive production bonuses, shift differentials, or other forms of additional pay on top of their hourly rate, those amounts must usually be included in determining (and increasing) the overtime rate.

When an employer ignores those additional amounts, they underpay overtime to the employee and commit an FLSA violation.

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Employees who prevail on their claims could recover all of their back pay going back up to three years, double back pay, and attorneys’ fees. If you’d like to discuss a pay practice that may violate the FLSA, contact us at (512) 782-0567 for a free consultation.

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