employment

Overtime complaints common in US, worldwide

Aug. 28, 2012 at 9:01 AM ET

It’s no secret that many Americans feel like the weak economy has forced them to do more work for the same or even less pay.

A new survey finds they have lots of company among workers around the world.

About two-thirds of hourly workers surveyed in Great Britain, France, Australia, China, Canada, Mexico, India and Brazil said their employers violate overtime rules at least some of the time.

In the U.S., slightly less than half the hourly workers surveyed had the same complaint.

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kronos Inc., which makes technology for human resources operations.

Chinese, Indian and British workers were most likely to complain that their rights had been violated. The French were most likely to say their bosses don’t violate overtime rules.

The hourly workers surveyed generally said they were eager to work extra hours, presumably because they expect that will lead to more pay.

Among the workers surveyed in other countries, more than half said they were happy to have the overtime hours they got, and one-third said they’d like to have more overtime hours. French, Canadian and British respondents were most likely to say they wanted more OT.

Among the U.S. workers surveyed, 49 percent said they were happy with the amount of overtime hours they work, and another 43 percent said they wished they could work more hours.

In the U.S., there has been a record jump in employee claims of wage and hour violations, including off-the-clock work and miscalculation of overtime pay. More than 7,000 people have filed claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act so far this year, according to calculation from law firm Seyfarth Shaw. That’s up from around 2,000 a decade earlier.

The sample for the Kronos survey included 666 U.S. hourly workers and 1,700 hourly workers from other countries.

Related:

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