Underreporting of Time Not An Excuse To Violate the FLSA

Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally employers must pay all non-exempt workers overtime compensation at a rate of time and a half for all times their standard rate of pay for all time worked in excess of forty hours in a work week. Employers are not allowed to use the excuse that employees underreported their hours as a way around this requirement, a recent wage and hour lawsuit determined.

If you have any wage and hour questions, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced Georgia wage and hour attorney to ensure you receive all the compensation you deserve.

In Bailey v. TitleMax of Georgia, a TitleMax worker underreported his time by both putting in time working “off-the-clock” and because his employer edited his records. After resigning from his job, the man sued for overtime compensation. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that Titlemax could not get out of paying overtime compensation even though the man violated company policies concerning the accurate recording of hours. The court explained, “If an employer knew or had reason to know that its employee underreported his hours, it cannot escape FLSA liability by asserting equitable defenses based on that underreporting. To hold otherwise would allow an employer to wield its superior bargaining power to pressure or even compel its employees to underreport their work hours, thus neutering the FLSA’s purposeful reallocation of that power.”

As a result, because the worker met the elements of a successful wage and hour claim – i.e. that he worked unpaid hours and that his employer knew of should have known that he was putting in the overtime – he was entitled to back wages and damages.

For more information or to answer any of your wage and hour questions, please contact the dedicated Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.