Question: An employee worked unauthorized overtime. Do we have to pay them the time and a half for these hours?
Answer: Yes. Any overtime worked by non-exempt employees must be compensated, regardless of whether the overtime was authorized. We recommend communicating with the employee about work expectations outside of their scheduled workday, making it clear that the company does not expect or permit employees to work unauthorized time and that working without permission is subject to disciplinary action.
Assuming you have a policy that requires overtime be authorized ahead of time, you can (and should) discipline employees for working unauthorized overtime, just as you would for any other violation of your policy. An oral or written warning may suffice for the first offense. Repeated offenses may warrant further corrective action, up to and including termination.
Additionally, when looking for a time and attendance system, make sure that you choose a system that will alert managers when employees are approaching overtime. It would be preferable if the system can do this the day before the employee goes into overtime so that the managers can plan accordingly.
The good news is that our technology can do that and more! If this is something that you need, let's talk! Use this link to schedule a meeting now.