Often times employees do not understand if they should be receiving overtime pay or not. To help clear things up, the employment attorneys at Maduff & Maduff want to provide you with an understanding of the legal requirements when it comes to overtime pay. At the national level, overtime pay is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
What is Overtime Pay?
If you qualify for overtime pay your employer must pay you one-and-one-half times your regular hourly for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a week. The FLSA does not define overtime pay in terms of hours worked per day or hours worked at night, on weekends or holidays, although those situations may be covered by a contract, usually a union contract. Frequently employees are paid on a bi-weekly basis. Consider the situation where you worked 45 hours in week one and 35 hours in week two. Although you worked a total of only 80 hours in the two week period, you are still entitled to be paid 5 hours overtime in addition to your regular wage.
Qualifying for Overtime Pay
In order to receive overtime, there are certain requirements that must be met, including the following:
Treatment by Employer-If the employer pays you an hourly wage and your weekly income varies from time to time depending on the number of hours you work in the pay period, you may be entitled to overtime pay regardless of your weekly or annual income. If your pay stub lists the same number of hours every week regardless of how many hours you actually worked and you are considered exempt because of the type of work you do (see below) your employer may claim you are being paid a salary and not entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA.
Earnings- If you earn less than $455 per week, or $23,660 per year, you will be automatically entitled to receive overtime pay.
Categories- If you earn more than the above requirements, are a salaried employee, and the type of work you do falls into one of the following categories, then your employer may classify you as “exempt” from the overtime provisions of the FLSA. Therefore you will not be eligible for overtime pay:
- Creative – If your profession’s duties involve things such as invention or imagination, or involve the use of your talent with creative and artistic abilities, then you may be exempt from overtime pay.
- Learned- If your profession involves the requirement of certain knowledge and expertise in a field of science or learning, which is typically acquired from specialized instruction or education, and not from the employer itself, then you may be considered exempt from overtime pay.
- Executive- If your profession involves office and non-manual labor, is related to the management of the employer’s operations, and requires you to make decision, judgments, or use discretion, then you may be exempt from overtime pay.
- Outside Sales- If your profession involves the primary duty of making sales, most times away from the employer’s operational facility, you may be exempt from receiving overtime pay.
If you are a non-exempt, that is, not an exempt employee as described above, and qualify for overtime pay, but you are not receiving it, it is important that you contact Maduff & Maduff for help with your case immediately.