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“Chinese overtime” is also commonly referred to as the fluctuating work week and is widely misunderstood.  In a “Chinese overtime” situation, an employee is paid one-half of their regular wage (rather than the federal overtime rate of 1.5 times their hourly wage) for any hours they work in excess of a 40 hour work week.  This method of pay is only legal when employees agree to work fluctuating work weeks for a fixed salary and is actually paid .5 time. Though many employers illegally claim they are using this method when they deny their employees the overtime pay to which they are entitled.  If you believe you have suffered because of incorrectly administrated “Chinese overtime” rules, or if you feel that you were denied overtime pay to which you are entitled, we encourage you to contact an overtime pay lawyer from Phillips Dayes Law Firm PC for a free evaluation of your claim.

Legal “Chinese Overtime”

The laws surrounding “Chinese overtime” are very clear but are often misused. In order to legally maintain a “Chinese overtime” system, an employer must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be made clear to the employer and to the employee(s) that the agreed-upon fixed salary will compensate the employee for all hours in a work week, even if that employee only works for a few hours in a week
  • The employee’s hours must fluctuate from week to week
  • The rate of pay used to calculate an employee’s half-overtime rate must be equal to or more than the federal minimum wage
  • The employer must actually pay .5 times overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week.

Illegal “Chinese Overtime”

It is not uncommon for employers to violate the laws regarding “Chinese overtime” or fluctuating work weeks. Our overtime lawyers have seen many mistakes regarding “Chinese overtime”, including the following:

  • The employee received less than their fixed salary after working fewer than 40 hours in a work week
  • Employers claim employees earn a fixed salary though they fail to consider compensation such as bonuses, holiday pay, commission, or another form of compensation
  • The employee does not know about the company’s fluctuating work week or “Chinese overtime” policy
  • An employee works so many hours in one work week that his or her rate of pay actually falls below the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour
  • Employee work hours do not fluctuate enough between weeks to qualify for “Chinese overtime”

Experienced Overtime Lawsuit Attorneys

The “Chinese overtime” pay system is not common in the United States, and the laws regulating this type of payment system can be confusing to employees and employers alike.  If you believe that the “Chinese overtime” system at your work is improperly administrated, or if you feel that you have been wrongly denied overtime pay for hours you worked, you need the counsel of an experienced overtime lawyer to ensure your rights are fully protected.  With offices in Utah, Arizona, and California, our overtime lawyers help workers across the United States recover the compensation to which they are entitled.  To learn more about “Chinese overtime” laws, contact us for a free legal consultation.

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