Are Journalists Entitled To Overtime Pay?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is one of the oldest federal labor laws and provides many protections for workers. Among these are guaranteed that workers receive minimum wage and that non-exempt workers receive overtime. Overtime compensation laws require that all employees who are not exempt must be paid at a rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any workweek.

Although this sounds straightforward, whether a worker is exempt v. non-exempt and entitled to overtime pay is often the subject of wage and hour cases. Exemptions are rules that provide that if you make more than a certain amount of money per week and perform certain types of work, your employer doesn’t have to pay you overtime regardless of how many hours you put in in a week. If you have questions about whether you are entitled to overtime pay, it is important to consult with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour lawyer to provide you with crucial advice concerning your take-home pay.

A recent overtime pay case has raised the question of whether a Chicago Tribune newspaper reporter is entitled to overtime compensation. According to news reports, the journalist was not paid for hundreds of hours of overtime pay for a little over a year. She was required to work between 50-60 hours a week, but only received 5 hours of overtime pay in 2011.

A representative of the journalist stated that reporters are considered exempt when they work as “creative professionals” whose work involves “invention, imagination, and talent,” but here the woman covered school board meetings and the job didn’t meet these standards.

Whether an individual should be classified as “exempt v. non-exempt” can be confusing – with employers commonly misclassifying employees’ work status, both intentionally and accidentally costing workers hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in pay.

If you believe your employer has misclassified you, or you have not received all the overtime compensation you are entitled to, please contact a dedicated Georgia employment lawyer for a confidential case evaluation.