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How to discuss unpaid overtime with your boss

Many employees have no problem working overtime because they know they will make significantly more than their standard hourly wage out of it. California law states employers must pay workers time and a half for anything over eight hours in a given day. That is why it becomes frustrating when the paycheck comes, and that extra money is not there.

There are several resources available to workers trying to recover unpaid overtime. However, before pursuing any legal action, it is usually in a worker's best interest to talk with the boss first. Occasionally, these disputes are innocent oversights your employer would be happy to correct quickly. Here are the steps for broaching the subject with an employer.

Take time to calm down

You may naturally feel upset after getting less in your paycheck than you deserve. Before rushing over to your employer's office, take some time to settle down. Take some deep breaths. It could be an honest mistake, and you do not want to make an enemy if you can avoid it.

Ask for an explanation

Once you have taken emotion out of the equation, you can go to your boss' office for an informal meeting. At this time, you can ask why you do not see the extra money in your paycheck even though you worked overtime.

Pay attention to your employer's response. There is no need to have a recorder on your person at this time, but you should take notes of the meeting. You will want to jot down your boss' answer exactly. You also want to take note of the day and time of the meeting.

Do not bring up a lawyer at this time

You should absolutely pursue legal action if your employer refuses to pay you money you deserve. However, at this first meeting, do not talk about lawyers. You will only make your boss anxious, and you want to give him or her an opportunity to remedy the situation independently.

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