The Law and You
Legal scenarios and compliance strategies
Pay Back Time
In this scenario, a lawsuit ensues as a temporary employee seeks compensation
for overtime hours she worked while on assignment—work the staffing firm
owner says she was never authorized to perform. Should she be compensated?
Or fired? What if the staffing firm refuses to pay?
By Stephen C. Dwyer, Esq.
Staffing firm owner Newman New- bie knows Susan Smart is a highly skilled mechanical engineer and
competitive candidate. Even if she is
high-strung, Newbie opines, clients have
been pleased with her work.
“I need to speak with you about
some issues I’m having with my tem-
porary assignment,” Smart tells Newbie
one day. “I believe you owe me a lot of
Newbie didn’t blink. “I’ve told you
before that, because you’re an engineer,
you are exempt from overtime. I’m sorry,
but that’s just the way it is.”
“You’re wrong—I’m not exempt, and
for many weeks now I’ve worked more
than 40 hours each week,” Smart spits
“Your timesheets don’t indicate
that you’ve worked that many hours,”
Newbie retorts. “And besides, according
to company policy, you weren’t autho-
rized to work overtime unless you got
advance approval from me.”
“But you knew I was working over-
time. My timesheets were incomplete