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Did you know that some employers pay overtime at a “half-time” rate rather than “time-and-a-half”?  With very limited exceptions, overtime must be paid at one-and a-half (1.5) times an employee’s regular rate of pay.  Some employers in Pennsylvania, however, have been caught paying less than this rate, even though courts have said doing so generally violates Pennsylvania law.  See Foster v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., CIV.A 09-453 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 27, 2012). In the Foster case, for example, the employer only paid employees at one-half (0.5) their regular rate in overtime pay, which the court found to be illegal.  

When corporations pay “half-time” it results in a perverse situation: the more hours an employee works, the less overtime pay an employee receives, because the overtime rate actually decreases as the number of hours worked increase!

Here’s the arithmetic: if an employee’s regular rate is $10 an hour, the correct overtime rate is $15 an hour, not $5 or some other amount less than $15. So, if you work 50 hours a week, you should earn $550 ($400 in regular wages (40 hrs x $10/hr) + $150 in OT wages (10 hrs x $15/hr). Under “half-time” pay, you would only receive $450 ($400 in regular wages (40 hrs x $10/hr) + $50 in OT wages (10 hrs x $5/hr). The injustice told by the numbers in the “half time” example is stunning - as the employee’s hours moved from 40 to 50, the effective hourly wage dropped from $10 / hr to $9 / hr (dividing the total wages ($450) by total hours worked (50). Don’t keep quiet if you have been the victim of a “half-time” wage scheme. Contact our attorneys for a free consultation.   

This site has been setup by the Washington D.C. office of Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP. The firm has successfully represented thousands of workers in lawsuits in Pennsylvania and nationwide that seek overtime pay wrongfully denied by employers, recovering millions of dollars. If you believe you have wrongfully denied overtime pay, please call our wage and hour attorneys Nicholas Migliaccio and Jason Rathod today at (202) 429-2290, or contact us through the web for a free and confidential consultation. We take these cases on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.

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