Texas employers generally understand that they have to pay non-exempt employees a premium on their base wage for working overtime. However, they may also have to pay a premium for non-discretionary bonuses given over timeframes in which a non-exempt employee worked overtime hours. Failing to do so could be a violation of overtime wage laws. As such a violation may occur with many workers, an attorney may attempt to bring about a class lawsuit.
It is important to note that discretionary bonuses and other forms of supplemental compensation may be exempt from overtime premium payments. However, it is also important to note that there is a fine line between discretionary and non-discretionary. For instance, if an employer promises to pay a bonus, it is no longer a discretionary payment. Attendance bonuses, bonuses related to the quality of an employee's work or bonuses related to group production goals are also non-discretionary in nature.
An employer that provides a bonus at Christmas time or at the end of the calendar year may have to pay an overtime premium. This is generally the case if the bonus is based on hours worked or productivity. However, this is generally not the case if the bonus is not dependent on how many hours an employee worked or his or her productivity.
Workers who believe that they have not received proper overtime pay may wish to consult with an attorney. Damages may be available whether or not an employer knew that it was breaking the law when the violation happened. Legal counsel may be able to help gather pay stubs, take statements or gather other evidence to support the assertion that a violation took place.