What Is Considered Excessive Overtime in Texas?

Wage & Hour Attorneys Defending Against Unjust Overtime

Working overtime can help you earn extra cash or finish projects on time, but on the flip slide working excessive overtime can have negative effects on employees, like burnout and exhaustion, and ultimately lead to poor performance when on the job.

While some workers may be happy to take on extra hours, other employees might feel pressured to do so because of their job demands, a need for extra income, or an attempt to meet their employer’s expectations.

However, working excessive overtime may not only be unfair to the employee but could be a violation of overtime laws and regulations.

Whether you have doubts about the legality of your excessive overtime hours or are seeking an employment lawyer to help you fight against unjust overtime today, The Galo Law Firm is at your aid.

Speak with one of our employment lawyers at The Galo Law Firm to discuss your circumstances and learn how to protect your rights. Call 210-361-8043.

Overtime Laws in Texas

Overtime in Texas only takes effect when an employee works over forty hours in a workweek. Under The Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), eligibility for overtime pay can vary based on a worker’s role or position. Excessive overtime is when an employee is repeatedly asked to work extra hours, so much that it’s considered to be unreasonable.

For many people, putting extra time into work may seem like an unspoken expectation. Yet, federal laws mandate that employers must pay eligible workers overtime rates for any hours worked beyond standard weekly schedules. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires businesses to pay for at least one and a half times an employee’s standard hourly wage when they pass the limit of forty hours per week. That means 1.5 times (time-and-a-half) of what you are normally paid, is what you receive per hour when in overtime.

However, employees in executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales positions who are paid at least $684 per week or $35,568 per year are typically exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements.

Any employee who is worried that their employer has violated overtime pay requirements or standards can submit a complaint to the Texas Workforce Commission. If requested by governmental agencies, Texas businesses must present exact reports detailing employee earnings and working hours.

What Is In Your Employment Contract?

An employment contract will typically include your expected working hours, job duties, overtime pay, rest intervals, etc. When it comes to overtime, a contract should explain the weekly max of hours and the pay for overtime work. A contract can also include any additional job benefits, the process to adjust working hours, and how many breaks you may be entitled to.

If you feel your employer is not holding true to the agreement in your contract for extra hours and overtime pay, you may want to speak with a lawyer to look over those contract terms. A lawyer versed in employment law will know how to spot issues in your contract and can help you take the potential legal steps to defend your employee rights.

Both employers and employees should know and understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to working hours and overtime pay. These conditions may be stated in an employment contract, but it’s important to make sure both parties are fully aware of and accept those terms.

Who Is Entitled to Overtime Pay?

Below are workers who are typically entitled to time-and-a-half by overtime laws:

  • Hourly laborers – Workers at retail shops, food service, and manual labor jobs are entitled to extra pay when they work overtime.
  • Non-exempt salaried employees – These are workers who don’t meet the requirements for exempt status defined by the FLSA, such as assistants, receptionists, and customer service representatives.
  • Blue-collar workers – This includes trades workers and manual laborers such as construction workers, electricians, plumbers, and mechanics. These workers are eligible for overtime due to the physical nature of their work.
  • Healthcare workers – Nurses, medical assistants, and other healthcare professionals who don’t meet the requirements for the “professional exemption” are normally covered by overtime laws.
  • Service industry – Workers in the service industry, such as hotel or restaurant workers, are generally covered by overtime laws.

Certain occupations and industries are known to work excessive overtime and might be exempt from the FLSA and overtime rules. For example, doctors, nurses, police officers, and firefighters regularly put in long hours without receiving overtime. As well, employees who accepted a position that requires long hours or mandatory overtime may be exempt from the FLSA. Talk with an employment attorney to determine whether or not your employment contract qualifies you for overtime pay.

Unusual Shifts

In Texas, there aren’t any clear-cut rules on long or unusual shifts. However, there are federal rules that apply to all Texas employees and regulate working hours, rest intervals, and other conditions at work.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) ensures that businesses create a safe working environment for their employees. This means, under OSHA guidelines, employers must proactively mitigate any potential hazards and risks in the workplace, including those that come from working long or irregular hours. This applies to risk factors like fatigue, stress, and other health problems that can happen when working excessive overtime.

Companies and business owners should be aware of the rules and regulations mandated by regulatory organizations like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA enforces rules such as mandatory breaks for drivers in order to prevent overexertion. All employees should be briefed on these rules to ensure company-wide compliance safety.

In the case a worker feels like their working conditions aren’t safe, it is important they speak up before it becomes a bigger issue. Employees should speak with their supervisor or manager first about their worries, but if conditions don’t change, reaching out to regulatory agencies like OSHA, FMCSA, or the TWC may be the next step.

How Can an Employment Lawyer Help You?

Evaluating and Updating Employment Policies – Whether you’re an employer or employer a lawyer can look over your workplace policies on working hours, overtime hours, overtime pay, and rest breaks rules and procedures to make sure they comply with state and federal law. If your policies don’t comply with the regulations, your lawyer can give you advice on how to meet these requirements in the future.

Performing Assessments – Companies can conduct either audits or evaluations of their staff with the help of an employment lawyer to pinpoint potential issues related to overtime. This can be done by looking at employees’ work schedules and logs, or speaking directly with employees to get their perspectives on working overtime and its challenges.

Legal Counsel and Representation – If an employer or employee is dealing with a claim involving excessive overtime, an attorney can offer legal advice and representation throughout. This includes representation in court as well as in mediation sessions or arbitrations.

Assisting with Compliance and Recordkeeping – An employment lawyer can help employers make sure they are in compliance with laws related to working hours, overtime compensation, and rest breaks, and can provide guidance on recordkeeping requirements to avoid legal disputes associated with excessive overtime.

Creating Strategies for Managing Overtime – An attorney can help companies create strategies for managing overtime, such as flextime or work-from-home rules, recruiting more personnel, or reorganizing job assignments to minimize the need for overtime.

Overall, an employment lawyer can help both employers and employers navigate the complicated realm of overtime. If you are personally having trouble with excessive overtime, we urge you to get legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer before the issue gets out of hand.

Contact Us to Recover the Overtime Compensation You’re Entitled To

If you’re facing excessive overtime issues in Texas, as either an employer or employee, it’s worth reaching out to an employment attorney. A lawyer versed in state labor laws can provide guidance on how to maintain your rights and can help you find a solution that meets your and your workplace’s needs.

By taking action and seeking legal aid, you can protect yourself against unfair treatment and potentially recover compensation. Take the first step toward a more just and equitable workplace, contact an employment attorney at The Galo Law Firm today.

To get started on protecting your employee rights, contact The Galo Law Firm at 210-361-8043.

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