Under federal law, most employees who work more than 40 hours a week are eligible for overtime pay, but not all employers are particularly diligent when it comes to overtime payments. They do this to maximize work and minimize costs. Not only is this illegal, because it is also immoral.

According to the website of the Leichter Law Firm, employees eligible for overtime pay but have not received it from their employers may take legal action, such as trying to get the employers accountable. Below are some of the most common factors that influence unpaid overtime claims.


Before anything else, it is important to make sure that you are actually eligible to overtime pay. Most employees are eligible, but a significant portion of the workforce is not – typically executives and managers.

Extended Work Hours

If you are staying and working in the workplace longer than what you are officially required, you are basically working overtime, so you are eligible for overtime pay. Extended work hours can manifest in two ways – you go to the workplace too early or stay in the workplace too late. Usually, you do this to accomplish tasks that don’t make the majority of your responsibilities, but still are your responsibilities, such as attending meetings, traveling to a work-related place or to accomplish a work-related task, and handling emergency situations.

Work on Unpaid Breaks

The best example of this is working during lunch periods. Usually, lunch periods are automatically deducted in your time at work, but if you still work during this period, you are basically working without pay and may be eligible for overtime pay.

Another example is take-home work, like preparing presentations for meetings, writing reports, and filling up necessary documents.

On-call Work

If you are suddenly asked to go to work during a period outside of your working hours, maybe because of an emergency or sudden emergence of a task that needs to be accomplished immediately, you may be eligible for overtime pay. There may be a legitimate reason for asking you to go to work right away, but it still doesn’t change the reality that you are working beyond your official work hours.