Q: Our company policy says that employees must obtain authorization before working overtime, but one of our employees has continued to work overtime despite my telling him to stop. What can we do about this?
A: It sounds as though you have already given the employee a verbal warning. You may discipline for unauthorized overtime as you would for any other violation of your policy. We would recommend issuing a written warning for the next violation. If the violations continue, you could take further corrective action, up to and including termination.
Following this sort of progressive discipline in accordance with your policy helps protect you in the event the employee challenges any of the corrective actions.
Remember, though, that any overtime worked by non-exempt employees must be compensated, regardless of whether the overtime was authorized.
Differentiating exempt versus non-exempt status continues to be an area of concern among employers. Watch our webinar, "Demystifying Wage & Hour Compliance," to learn how to navigate the complexities of wage and hour issues related to non-exempt employees.