1. "He's on salary." Even salaried workers may have to be paid overtime if their jobs meet certain exemption criteria. The rule of thumb: If they don't make many independent decisions, they may qualify for time and a half.

  2. "Longer hours are in her contract." Some employers try to avoid paying overtime by building extra hours into employment contracts. But employees can't opt out of overtime pay.

  3. "He makes a lot of money." White-collar workers who earn more than $100,000 a year and meet the "independent judgment" criteria are ineligible for overtime only if they make at least $455 a week in guaranteed salary. In many cases, bonuses don't count.

  4. "He's an outside sales rep." Outside salespeople are generally exempt from overtime pay. But if they spend more than half their time in the office, they may actually qualify.