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Is It Illegal Not To Pay Overtime In Indiana?

If you are employed in Indiana, it is a good idea to understand the basics about minimum wage and overtime laws as they apply to the state. There are two sets of regulations for workers in Greenwood and throughout the state of Indiana. One is the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the other is the Indiana Minimum Wage Law, which also covers rules and regulations for the requirement to pay overtime wages to employees in the state. They are both equally applied, and where there is overlap, they are combined.

Do I Have To Work Overtime If My Employer Asks Me To?

Your boss can set your hours at their discretion unless you have a contract or a union agreement that states otherwise. They can ask you to stay late, come in early, and work longer shifts. So, yes, it is legal for your boss to ask you, or even require you, to work overtime. It is important to know that they can also require you to work on holidays, weekends, and other special occasions.

When Does Overtime Pay Start?

One common misconception is that anything over 8 hours a day constitutes overtime. This is not correct, and both Federal and Indiana State law requires your employer to pay you overtime when you work more than forty hours per week, regardless of how many days it takes you to get to forty hours.

What Is The Standard Rate For Overtime Pay In Indiana?

According to the Indiana Minimum Wage Law, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, the overtime rate is one and a half (1.5) times the employee’s standard rate of pay. Some employers may pay extra for certain circumstances or holidays, but that is to their discretion. The requirement is 1.5 times the normal wage.

What If My Employer Offers To Pay Me “Comp Time” instead?

“Comp Time,” or Compensatory time off, means that instead of paying you overtime wages, your employer will offer you paid time off later. In the state of Indiana, this is illegal for private employers.

Certain tax calculations are made on the amount of overtime that is paid to employees. Comp time is a way to alter accurate reporting of these numbers and may save employers from paying higher taxes or government fees. So, in the interest of accurate reporting, all overtime wages paid are to be reported.

How Do I Collect Overtime Payments That Are Due To Me?

If you have overtime pay that is due to you from your current job or an earlier job, you can still reclaim that money. Your best plan of action is to contact an experienced attorney in Greenwood who practices employment law. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations, or the time you are allowed to collect this back pay, is three years for overtime according to state regulations, and two years under federal regulations.
If you feel that you can prove that your employer intentionally paid you less than you were entitled to, you can file for additional amounts over and above the actual overtime pay owed to you. This intentional action also means that you have the statute of limitations under federal law is increased to three years, bringing it in alignment with the state law.

Is Every Employee Who Works More Than Forty Hours a Week Entitled to Overtime Pay?

No, not every employee is entitled to overtime pay. Certain job classifications are exempt from the requirement, as are salaried workers who are being paid above $455/week (2017). Executives, Administrators, Commissioned Salespeople, Professionals (such as CPAs and lawyers), and Taxi drivers are just a few of those positions that are exempt from the overtime laws.

If you are not sure whether your job is exempt from being paid overtime, it will be worth your while to find out. Reputable Greenwood employment law firms can help you make the determination.

Additionally, some employers are exempt from having to pay wages at the overtime rate. If an employer has more than forty active employees, they are required to pay overtime, according to Indiana law. The Federal law says that if the employer has more than $500,000 in gross sales, he is required to pay his employees overtime rates.

Can I Lose My Job For Filing A Claim For Unpaid Overtime Pay?

You can rest assured that it is illegal for a person to be fired for asking for the overtime pay that’s owed to them, for reaching out to a lawyer or filing a claim. If your complaint is met with termination, you have the right to file a charge for retaliation. This is one of the reasons that it’s best to start your claim with a consultation with a lawyer and to gain a full understanding of the process.

Can An Employer Send Me Home Early To Avoid Paying Me Overtime?

In a word, yes. Keep in mind that an employer has the right to ask you to work according to the needs of the business. There is no law saying how much notice they must give you if any, but they can ask you to go home early, or stay late, according to their desires. They can ask you to work on holidays, weekends, and whenever they see fit.

How Do I Start The Process To Claim Overtime Pay That I’m Entitled To?

Hiring an honest and aggressive attorney is advised. At the law firm of Henn, Haworth, Cummings, & Page, we offer years of experience in employment and labor law. We can help with overtime pay, as well as a variety of other employment law issues.

We offer a free initial consultation and will be able to evaluate your case and offer legal advice that can help you in your time of need. Should you decide to hire us for representation, we will work with you to reclaim all the money that is due to you. If you have kept records of the money owed to you, be sure and bring that to your first appointment with us.

Can You Be Fired For Any Reason In Indiana?

Many people think that because Indiana is an “employment-at-will” state that you can be fired for any reason (or no reason at all) by your employer. This assumption is not accurate, as there are a lot of exceptions to the “at-will” status of employees. To terminate an employee under these exceptional circumstances would constitute “wrongful termination,” which may result in filing a lawsuit against the employer.

Federal And State Laws Against Discrimination And Civil Rights Infractions

State, Local, and Federal laws prohibit firing due to discrimination and civil rights infractions. It is not legal to fire someone because of their age, religion, race, country of origin, sex, or mental or physical disability. This is clearly a violation of federal law.

If you feel that you might have been fired because of one or more of these reasons, you should consult with an experienced Greenwood wrongful termination attorney and learn how they can help you to take action against the employer. There is a certain time limit on pursuing these matters, so do not put it off, if legal action is something you want to consider.

Civic Duties And Responsibilities

If carrying out your civic duties and responsibilities interferes with your work schedule, it is possible that your employer may not be able to fire you for missing time off work while you carry these responsibilities out.

For example, if you have been summoned for jury duty or as a witness in court, you cannot be fired for taking time off work for these events. The same is true for the family members of active military. Employers are required by law to provide ten days of unpaid leave each year for family members of those serving our country. These family members include siblings, parents, grandparents, and spouses of our folks in uniform.

Retaliation Against Whistleblowers

The fear of being fired is the main reason why people shy away from being “whistleblowers” and revealing illegal or unethical practices at their place of employment. They cannot be terminated for refusing to participate in illegal activities at the direction of their employer. Similarly, they cannot be let go for reporting safety risks or complaining about being put into unsafe or illegal situations.

If an employee decides to testify that the employer was discriminatory in their hiring or firing practices, according to law, that employee cannot be fired for their testimony.

Union Activity

In the state of Indiana, it is illegal to fire workers that are attempting to organize, join, or form a labor union. This includes those employees that are working towards collective bargaining. These circumstances often evolve into a sensitive issue, since employees are organizing against the employer in many cases.

Claims And Complaints

An employer may sometimes fire someone for filing a claim or a complaint against the employer. Here are a few circumstances to review where it is illegal to terminate employment for these individuals.

  • Filing a workers’ compensation claim, which is within a person’s legal rights
  • Initiating an FMLA claim, according to the Family Medical Leave Act
  • Filing a legal complaint concerning overtime, child labor, or minimum wage
  • Filing an OSHA complaint concerning unsafe or unsanitary conditions in the workplace
  • Claiming pension benefits to which you are entitled and have been promised
  • Claims under the EEOC job discrimination parameters, and within federal law

What If I Have A Contract?

If a contract exists between employer and employee, where one party is offering employment and the other party is accepting the terms of that employment, then it is possible that an employer can be sued for breach of contract if the employment is terminated even though the employee has complied with the agreement.

Some would argue that certain language included in employee handbooks, such as “three strikes and you’re out,” would indicate that you would not be fired after one “strike.” Going against the language in the employee handbook could be considered a breach of contract, and thus a wrongful termination.

Does My Boss Need To Explain Why He Fired Me?

This one is a bit tricky. You would hope that an employer would have the courtesy to tell you why you were let go, but you never know what you’ll be up against.

Basically, if he or she is required a written application before he or she hired you, then in some cases he or she needs to give you a signed statement listing the reasons you were terminated.

What Should I Do If I’m Being Treated Unfairly At Work?

Probably one of the most important things you can do in a situation where you feel you are being treated unfairly, or even illegally, is to keep a faithful account of events. Be sure that you take note of the specifics around the unfair or illegal treatment.

A written record takes the guesswork out of recalling events. Having this on hand will serve you well and can help your attorney bring an action if necessary.

How Do I Go About Starting A Lawsuit Against My Employer?

One of the first things you will want to do is to find a top-rated Greenwood wrongful termination law firm like Henn, Haworth, Cummings, & Page that practices labor law/employment law. Once you find your lawyer, they will be able to give you advice on the case. An experienced attorney will know all the ins and outs of a case like yours, and they will be able to give you the honest and aggressive advice you need.

There is no reason why living in a state with a policy of “at-will” employment should mean that you have your rights, or the law of the land, violated. If you have been discriminated against, or feel like you have been illegally fired, you have the right to recourse through the legal system.

This is where the qualified lawyers of Henn, Haworth, Cummings, & Page can help. Make an appointment today and see if you have a case against your employer. We’ll evaluate the information you provide and see if we can work together to gain justice. Your first consultation is free!