My question involves defamation in the state of: New York
Background Info: I've been an executive assistant in a very big corporation for over a year. Like all the other assistants in my office, I make a base salary plus overtime. My boss is on maternity leave and she gave me permission to lead and work with her direct reports on several projects. While she is on leave, I technically report to the department president's assistant, but I really report to my boss's direct report (I'll call the person "Bob") because Bob has me working on various full-time projects for his team.
The Problem: I have to submit my overtime hours to the president's secretary, which Bob approves of in advance. However, the head of finance (I'll call him "Finance") told the president's secretary that I am submitting false overtime hours. Finance said this solely based on the fact that he never saw me in my cubicle when he stayed late and would walk to the bathrooms. There is no way Finance could see me, though, since my cubicle is blocked off by a partition AND I'm not even located near the bathrooms. HR also called both Bob and me because they didn't understand why I was working more than 35 hours per week since my boss is on leave. Bob and I both independently told HR that my boss approved of me working on multiple, deadline-sensitive projects, but HR stills flags my paycheck if I work more than 35 hours per week. Finance told me, via an e-mail that the president's secretary sent me, that I'm no longer allowed to work overtime unless Bob requests it for me and Finance approves that its for the betterment of the company. The president's secretary told me that Finance wants me to do this because they think I'm lying about my overtime hours. I've always reported accurate hours, but only Bob and his team believes me.
The Question: Is this legal for the company to make me go through so many people for approval just because Finance "thinks" I'm a liar? I'm pretty sure hours aren't quantified by running into people in the bathroom.
Also, if Finance denies me the overtime hours, I'm still going to have to work on the projects in order to complete them... which means I'll be working for free. Do I have a case against the company if they refuse to pay me for my work?
This entire situation is stressing me out and giving me anxiety. I've dedicated my life to this company and I feel like my character is being attacked by people I never see or talk to. Any help is appreciated. Thanks