What Can I Do If My Employer Denies My Overtime Pay?


As an employee, you are entitled to overtime pay when you work overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) outlines overtime pay requirements clearly and many employees are protected under this law. If your employer has failed to pay you appropriately or has denied your requests for overtime pay, you may be eligible to file an unpaid overtime pay lawsuit. Keep reading to learn what you should know about these claims.

What Are Tennessee Overtime Laws?

Before you can begin your claim, it is important to understand what overtime laws are in Tennessee. While the state itself doesn’t outline provisions for overtime pay, all non-exempt employees are covered by the federal FLSA. This law states that all non-exempt employees must receive 1.5 times their regular wage when they work more than 40 hours in a continuous 7 day period, known as a workweek. There are no requirements for working more than 8 hours in a day, or for working weekends or holidays.

What Does “Non-Exempt Employees” Mean?

A considerable amount of confusion can arise from the differences between exempt and non-exempt employees. Generally speaking, you are considered a non-exempt employee, unless your job duties and wages meet certain criteria.

You may be an exempt employee if:

  • You receive a salary that is not less than $455 per week or $23,600 per year.
  • You perform exempt job duties (regardless of title).

Exempt duties include a great number of careers and positions. Generally speaking, an exempt job is one that requires high-level duties with respect to the operations of the company or requires highly specialized education. Examples include:

  • Executives
  • Professionals, such as attorneys, physicians, teachers, architects, and registered nurses
  • Creative Professionals, including journalists, actors, musicians, and writers
  • Administrative, such as human resources staff, payroll and accounting staff, or public relations employees

Calculating Overtime Rates for Tipped and Commissioned Employees

If you’re not an exempt employee, but you are a tipped or commissioned employee it can be a challenge to determine exactly what you are owed. In Tennessee, employers are allowed to use a tip credit, which can allow employers to pay employees only $2.13, as long as they make at least $5.12 an hour in tips. This means that an employee’s hourly wage must reach $7.25, which is the federal minimum wage. When it comes to overtime, however, an employee must be paid 1.5 times the minimum wage, without the tip credit subtracted.

Similarly, if your regular wage rates include commissions or bonuses, these must also be included when calculating your overtime pay.

File An Unpaid Overtime Pay Claim – (901) 209-5500

As a non-exempt employee, you are entitled to the appropriate rate of overtime pay when you have worked more than 40 hours in 7 consecutive days. Should your employer not pay you the correct rate for your overtime hours, you may be able to file a claim to recover your owed wages. Our experienced wage and hour law attorneys can help you through every step of your case.

At Donati Law, PLLC we are here to help you fight for your rights and ensure that you receive the wages you are owed for your work. Our team is backed by more than 100 years of collective experience in employment law, so you can trust that we have the knowledge and skills to guide you.

Schedule a consultation to begin your case. Contact our offices by calling (901) 209-5500.

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To discuss your case with an accomplished attorney who cares, give our firm a call at (901) 209-5500 or fill out the form below.

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