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What is overtime?

     One of the hottest work/life topics today is this: when does the work day start and stop?

    I took the topic on today in my Miami Herald column and on TV's CBS-4/My33.  Labor lawyer Michael Casey with Epstein Becker & Green in Miami Mike_color says overtime (wage and hour  lawsuits) is a big concern for employers and employees. "A lot of the dispute is over defining hours worked."

     Should you get paid for talking on your cell phone to your boss on the way home? What about for working through lunch? Casey says technology makes it easier to have an actual record of your working hours. It has become a big part of legal cases now in the courts. "When you come into the office and flip on the computer it creates a record of when you started," he says.

    Putting in extra hours to get ahead may be a big problem if you are a worker who is entitled to overtime. These cases are easier to pursue than discrimination or lawsuits. They tend to settle and lawyers are able to recover fees. That infuriates small employers who find they get whacked with legal costs even if they prevail.

   Casey provided me a list of who is entitled to overtime. Click here to read it.

     What are your thoughts on this booming area of litigation? Should employers make it clear that working more than 40 hours is prohibited? If so, how should they enforce it?

   

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Nick Kasoff

I have a related question ... How do you distinguish the categories in his list who are eligible for overtime? A couple of examples:

* If my employer says I'm salaried, but docks me for working less than 8 hours in a day, even if I get my work done, am I really salaried?

* If I'm salaried with base pay of $400 a week, but my bonuses bring me over $455, am I eligible or not?

* Who are these "Computer-manufacturing repair service help desk employees"?

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