Late July I got a job as a computer programmer on a 6 month contract with the agency that recruited me (although I actually work for another company). The job is W-2, paid hourly, but as I'm a computer programmer making over $30/hr I'm overtime-exempt.
However, when the agency told me the offer over the phone, they told me that I would be paid time & 1/2 for overtime and the written offer that I accepted explicitly said exactly what I'd be paid for overtime and it was time and 1/2. Moreover, when I accepted this offer they were trying to pressure me into taking it and tried to make me decide within 2 hours of receiving the offer because they knew I had another very competitive offer. Had their offer not included overtime pay, the other offer would have been much better in comparison and I probably would have chosen that one. Lastly, the job description they sent me before they even sent the offer stated that my target hours are 45 hours a week, so they knew I'd be working overtime as well.
Yesterday, the agency called me and said that because I was classified as exempt, they weren't supposed to be paying me overtime and wouldn't be doing so going forward. They even tried to frame it as them doing me a favor by allowing me to keep the money that I'd already been "wrongfully paid". I pushed back though and will be discussing it with them again later today.
My first question is, being overtime-exempt means they're not required to pay me time & 1/2 for overtime, but they're not prohibited from doing so correct? Like, they're not breaking any laws by paying me extra for overtime?
Secondly, since the offer said in writing that I'd be paid time & 1/2 for overtime and I was told that verbally, are they required to keep paying me that as part of the contract or can they just stop whenever they'd like since I'm exempt?