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Regular time vs. overtime?

Angier, NC |

Here's the scenario: you work for a very small company (less than 10 people). The employer asks you if you want to work on a few jobs that will be overtime for you (you've already worked 40 hours but you agree to work for regular (straight) time in order to help the company out and the employer accepts your help. Is it legal from both perspectives? Meaning if you agree to work for regular time even though it is overtime can you retaliate against the employer? And would the employer get into any legal trouble if all parties sign a paper stating they agree to the terms? (The wording in the articles is confusing!) Thanks in advance....

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Attorney answers 2


The short answer is, you cannot enter into a binding agreement to waive your right to be paid in accordance with federal or state wage and hour law without prior knowledge and approval of Department of Labor or a court. If you sign such an agreement, it provides no legal protection to your employer if you later seek to enforce the law regarding overtime pay.

David Puryear is an employment attorney licensed in North Carolina with 29 years experience representing employees in disputes arising at work. He also represents employers in these matters. The answers provided here are for general public service information only and are not intended as legal advice in a specific case or the practice of law in any jurisdiction other than North Carolina. You should consult with an experienced employment attorney near you to receive legal advice about your personal situation.


I agree with Attorney Puryear. You cannot waive your rights under Wage and Hour laws and your employer could still get in trouble for not paying you for overtime or any other warned wages.

Kirk J. Angel is an experienced North Carolina licensed attorney who focuses his practice on employment law. Mr. Angel, who has focused on employment law for more than 15 years, represents clients throughout North Carolina and more information about him is available at This response is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer in your state who practices in the appropriate area.

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