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You work hard at your job, and you expect to be paid fairly. If you’ve noted that your paychecks aren’t as large as you expect for the time you’ve put in, you might be seeing a discrepancy in overtime pay.

Overtime pay is controlled by both state and federal law. There are no state laws in Tennessee that address overtime, so federal laws are the key to success if you’ve been paid less than you’re owed. According to federal law, you must receive overtime pay of at least 1.5 times your regular rate of pay if you work over 40 hours weekly.

Does your break count in your weekly work hours?

Remember that employers are required to give a 30-minute unpaid break to employees who are scheduled to work six or more hours in a day. This unpaid break provides workers time to make phone calls, eat breakfast, lunch or dinner and take care of other nonwork-related business.

Does the employer need to pay overtime for holiday work?

While many employers have a standard 1.5 times pay rate on holidays, there is no obligation to provide additional pay on holidays of any type by federal law.

What should you do if your employer violates the wage laws in the state?

Initially, you may want to speak with your employer about the potential error on your paycheck. If that doesn’t help, then there are other options.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is in charge of enforcing wage regulations in the state. If you believe that your employer is not paying you on time, fairly or is failing to pay overtime, you can file a claim with this agency. The agency should open an investigation and determine if your rights were violated. Additionally, you have the option to speak with your attorney to begin filing a claim against your employer for wage regulation violations.