Overtime violations are more common than you think. Every year, thousands of overtime payment violations are reported to government agencies – and that doesn't count all the cases that aren't reported. In the last year, the federal Wage and Hour Division by itself has cited more than 7,300 wage violations. In 2012 and 2011, there were more than 13,000 violations found by the department each year.
If you work in a lower-wage industry, you are even more likely to be affected. In 2008, the Wage and Hour Division calculated the violations and picked out the top wage-violation industries: restaurants, garment manufacturing, agriculture, hotels and motels, janitorial services, temp work, guard services, and health care.
A few examples:
• Since 2000, Subway restaurants have had to pay back wages for overtime violations more than 800 times.
• McDonalds has done slightly better, only being caught 300 times since 1985.
• Day care services have been major violators, having to pay back wages for overtime violations in more than 2000 cases since 2000.
• Doctor's offices are another hotspot for overtime violations. One healthcare company in Massachusetts had to pay nearly $3 million dollars to employees for unpaid overtime in 2009.