Is it legal to manipulate actual hours worked in a week so that they do not pay overtime?

UPDATED: Jul 24, 2010

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Is it legal to manipulate actual hours worked in a week so that they do not pay overtime?

I am a bartender and work 40+ hours per week but do not get paid overtime because my boss only turns in 79-80 hours every 2 weeks. Due to this, my pay is approximately 2.5 months behind. I currently have 400 hours worked which are unpaid. I document my hours everyday I work and compare them to my paycheck. I usually have discrepancies in every pay period. Is this legal? How long can they hold pay because they say they are a little behind? Also, we get no breaks, no lunch.

Asked on July 24, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It certainly sounds as if you have a claim to be made and that you should contact your state department of labor to file a complaint.  Your boss has an obligation to turn in your hours as worked.  It may be here that he is a "pawn in a chess game" so to speak and that he is only following orders from above.  Be that as it may, his boss is breaking the law by not paying you your wages as provided by law and by not following state guidelines as to breaks as they may apply.  You can go to your Department of Labor website to see if they list the law in your state as to lunch requirements, etc.  They will also be able to help direct you to the right place for dealing with this matter.  Good luck. 

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