Answer: No. An employer violates the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provisions if the employer purposely avoids knowledge of its employees’ overtime work. A U.S. District Court in Illinois ruled that an employer was required to pay overtime where the evidence showed that the employer knew the employee worked overtime, despite the employer’s assertion of a lack of personal knowledge. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees entitled to overtime pay must be compensated for overtime worked, even if the employer did not direct that the work be done, if the employer knew or should have known that the work was being done.
In this case, the former employee was awarded several thousand dollars for overtime accumulated over three years, plus attorney’s fees.
Cite: Cunningham vs. Gibson Electric Co., Inc., ND Ill., 43 F. Supp.2d 965 (1999).
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