Are Employees Eligible to Recover Lost Overtime Pay? (video)
Employers in New Jersey are required to pay employees who work 40 or more hours in a week overtime pay which means time and a half and the only way you are exempt from overtime is if you fall into a very limited criteria of position in your job. If you are a professional, administrative or executive employee, you do not have to get overtime. Those positions really are supervisory positions where you have the authority to hire or fire or if you are an office manager or if you have several post-graduate degrees and your job is a professional one. So unless you fall into one of those general categories, you are entitled to overtime.
And a lot of times, employers will try to get you to believe that your position falls into one of these categories so that you do not have to get overtime, and that is incorrect and that is illegal. And a lot of times the way these cases are handled, they are handled on what is called a class action basis where if a company is denying overtime to a group of employees or a segment of employees, one or two or three employees can come forward and file what is called a class action so that both they and the representatives of the class, all of those other workers who are not getting overtime can have a way of recovering their lost pay. And sometimes if employers are not paying overtime for a period of years, the recovery can be substantial.
Another thing to note is that the New Jersey statute governing overtime allows for people who have been denied overtime and who are successful in their claim to get an award of reasonable attorney’s fees. So if you prevail in this type of action, your employer has to pay your attorney’s fees.