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A Tennessee resident who makes less than $455 a week and who works in a non-exempt industry may be eligible to receive overtime pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that workers receive overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week. Tennessee state law mandates that employees get a minimum overtime wage of $10.88 per hour.

Several professionals are specifically covered by the FLSA such as police officers and first responders. Paramedics and firefighters are also covered by the legislation, and those who do manual labor for a living may also be eligible for overtime pay. Paralegals and practical nurses are generally covered as they may be subject to long hours. Without the ability to earn overtime pay, these professionals may be overworked or exploited by their employers.

If an employer fails to adhere to wage and overtime laws, an employee may have grounds for a lawsuit. It may be possible to obtain back pay plus interest in addition to punitive damages and other relief as allowed by law. In some cases, employees may band together to become part of a class action suit if a large number of people have been denied minimum wage or overtime benefits. An informal settlement of an overtime wage case is also possible.

An attorney may be able to help those who believe that they are entitled to back overtime pay. Legal counsel may use evidence such as payroll records, time clock data and conversations between workers and managers to establish that a person is entitled to additional pay. Payroll records may also be used to establish that hours were incorrectly allocated between multiple pay periods to make it look like a worker stayed within weekly hour limits.