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Q&A: Unauthorized Overtime

By January 24, 2023July 14th, 2023No Comments

Can we refuse to pay unauthorized overtime?

We have an employee who continues to work unauthorized overtime. He has been warned against working unauthorized overtime several times, both verbally and in writing, that all overtime must be pre-approved by a supervisor/manager, yet he continues.


No. You must pay every (nonexempt) employee for all hours worked.

Once a nonexempt employee exceeds the daily work hours in your state or 40 hours in a week, you must pay overtime for all hours worked beyond those state-specified times, even if unauthorized. You have the right to coach, counsel, discipline, and terminate an employee for violating your policies and procedures, especially if the employee continues the behavior. Ensure you know why the unapproved overtime was worked before progressing to discipline and termination. For example, there may be an issue within the department or program and a miscommunication with the employee’s supervisor that should be addressed and rectified. 

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The information contained in this article is not a substitute for legal advice or counsel and has been pulled from multiple sources.

(Image by Lifeforstock from Freepik.)

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