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Your overtime was not preauthorized ~ no pay for you!

“I told him NO OVERTIME!”

What happens when an employee works from home or after hours when they have been explicitly told by their manager they cannot work overtime hours without management approval and should they chose to work anyway they will not be paid?

This tactic may sound reasonable to some employers however there are a couple of things to consider in this situation.

Is the employee paid hourly or on a salary basis?

  • If the individual is hourly, regardless of whether or not the manager gave permission to work from home or conduct work after hours, the employee must be paid for time worked. Hopefully, the employee will not exceed 40 hours in the work week otherwise they will need to be paid 1 ½ times their hourly rate for each hour they have worked over 40.
  • If the individual is salaried exempt overtime pay should not be a concern since salaried exempt employees are not paid by the number of hours they work.

A performance Issue?

  • An employee who blatantly disregards their manager’s direction or company policies may be considered insubordinate.
  • Insubordination by any employee should be addressed to clarify the employee’s responsibility and accountability for failing to “follow the rules”. Addressing the situation immediately reduces the opportunity for the event to reoccur and the risk of other employees taking advantage as well.

Receiving management approval for overtime is a common practice among many employers.  I recommend to all of my clients that having a policy in their handbooks that clearly defines the procedures for gaining approval from management prior to working any overtime and to be sure that the policy also states the employee’s accountability for not following policy.