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Overtime pay in Georgia may not be discretionary

With the difficult economic times hitting many states, the need to maximize performance at work has been vital to ensuring a company's fiscal stability. However, what happens when employees are required to work overtime to meet certain financial quotas but are not paid for this work? This issue has arisen in a large number of overtime pay lawsuits that have been filed across Georgia and the country in the last year.

A recent suit filed by two employees of banks in federal court has alleged that they were required to work extra hours without being compensated properly for this overtime work. One of the plaintiffs alleged that Wells Fargo Bank required her to meet certain quotas, and if she did not, she would be required to work overtime without being paid to meet these goals. In the other suit, a worker for Sun Trust Bank said that she was required to make sales calls well past her normal hours to meet another quota set by the bank.

These North Carolina suits come on top of an already busy year for law suits that are similar in nature. It was reported that for a 12 month period ending in March, over 7,000 overtime law suits have been filed across the country. It was also reported that there has been steady increases to the number of lawsuits since 2008.

A worker who dedicates themselves to their job by working excess hours should, in many cases, be awarded overtime pay. If this pay is not awarded, understanding what rights an employee has under Georgia law may be important to assess whether they have a legal right to collect overtime wages. This may not only ensure that the individual employee is protected, but may also help other employees in enabling them to collect the same compensation from their employer.

Source: Winston-Salem Journal, "Bank cases illustrate rise in wage-and-hour lawsuits," Nov. 22, 2012

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