What to do if my employer is demanding that I repay overtime paid to me or risk job termination?

UPDATED: Apr 25, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Apr 25, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if my employer is demanding that I repay overtime paid to me or risk job termination?

My employer is demanding that I pay back previously earned overtime wages citing that they were not approved. When originally hired 3 years ago, I was told by my hiring supervisor overtime was OK as long as it was not excessive. However, now I have been told that I have to pay or I will be terminated. From what I have read, what they are asking is against the law. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to resolve this issue?

Asked on April 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you worked overtime after being told by a supervisor that it was permitted, you must be paid the overtime and the employer may not seek its return. You also may not be terminated for refusing to pay it back; doing so would be a violation of the wage and hour laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the regulations implementing them.

It doesn't matter if the supervisor did not have the authority to approve your overtime--that may be grounds to terminate, or in extreme cases, sue--the supervisor, but it does not affect you. All that matters vis-a-vis you is that the overtime was allowed by your supervisor at the time you worked and earned it.

If your employerer takes action against you for not returning overtime or for having earned overtime, you would have a legal cause  of action. You could contact your state department of labor and/or hire an attorney to sue the employer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption