Voluntary overtime: Is it compensable?

The shelving job for the lab had a high priority. At least that was Carpenter Class I Alex Marley's impression. When the end of shift buzzer sounded at 4:55 p.m., Marley figured that if he kept going another 2-3 hr, the project would be completed.


The shelving job for the lab had a high priority. At least that was Carpenter Class I Alex Marley's impression. When the end of shift buzzer sounded at 4:55 p.m., Marley figured that if he kept going another 2-3 hr, the project would be completed.

Pay day was on Tuesday. Marley was at his supervisor's desk a few minutes after receiving his check.

"What's the problem?" Maintenance Foreman Luke Bailey asked.

"My paycheck's short. It doesn't include3-hr overtime I worked last Thursday."

Bailey frowned and checked his workbook. "You weren't scheduled to work overtime Thursday."

"I know, you weren't around. But you told me that lab shelving was a priority job; I figured you wanted me to finish it."

"You figured wrong. That project didn't warrant overtime pay at time-and-a-half."

Marley disagreed. "That's not the impression you gave me."

Bailey shook his head. "I'll check it out and get back to you."

Question: Is Marley entitled to the overtime pay?

Neff's decision: "Authorize the time-and-a-half pay," Plant Engineer Arnold Neff instructed Bailey. "All work over 40 hr counts as overtime even when the worker does it on his own initiative. This pay applies whether or not the work is scheduled so long as the supervisor knows about it, should know about it, or creates a situation that leads the employee to believe it is warranted."

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Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
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Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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