Times are tough out there. Company budgets are being slashed, along with the number of employees and available hours. Many supervisors suddenly find their departments doing the same amount of work with half the people. On the overtime front, this is a recipe for a disaster.
Under these conditions, many supervisors are trapped with little ability to approve overtime. Hard working employees may not even request approval for overtime knowing that it will be viewed as an admission they cannot perform their job at the expected level (and thus place them at the top of the list for the next round of layoffs). Overtime therefore goes underground - a tacit understanding exists between management and employees that no one will mention how the work gets done as long as it gets done and everyone keeps their jobs.
Of course, the above scenario is unlawful, and whatever the company saves in wages will be dwarfed by attorneys fees and damages in the class action lawsuit surely to follow. For that reason, now is the time to remind all managers and supervisors of the importance of the company's off the clock policy. Looking the other way to save in the short run is not a smart business move, and will inevitably come home to roost in the form of a disgruntled employee or ex-employee who reveals the practice.