What is overtime

For instance, if you work nine hours per day for four work days, you may be scheduled for only four hours on the fifth day of the week to avoid overtime. Your employee Sarah typically works a standard 40-hour week and is paid $25 an hour, including non-discretionary pay. However, it is important to have a discussion about overtime and its implications before requiring employees to work extra hours.

Next, calculate the employee’s regular pay and overtime pay separately. Some states have additional overtime laws you must follow as an employer. Those who are not eligible for overtime pay are considered exempt employees. Setting the threshold for how many hours are considered overtime is defined as What is overtime “the time actually worked beyond a set schedule” under the terms of the Fair Labor Standards Act established in 1938. A set schedule, or work period, is the work week consisting of 7 consecutive days and 40 hours of clock time. Working over 40 hours in a week is the determining factor for overtime.

  • To properly compute overtime on a flat sum bonus, the bonus must be divided by the maximum legal regular hours worked in the bonus-earning period, not by the total hours worked in the bonus-earning period.
  • If this is the case, make sure you communicate this to your employees ahead of time so they know what to expect.
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  • An hourly wage means an employee is paid an agreed rate per hour—or fraction of the hour—they work.
  • Overtime does not work so well when a business experiences relatively steady sales levels.
  • An employee receives overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week.

These legislative changes came about after more than a century of workers’ rights activists and labor union groups calling for better working conditions. Workers in the 19th century regularly worked roughly 100 hours per week. It wasn’t until Henry Ford adopted five-day, 40-hour workweeks in his Ford Motor plants that the idea of “less work equals more productivity” took hold. However, the U.S. government had instituted eight-hour days for its employees as early as 1869. The state of California’s overtime laws differ from federal overtime laws in many respects, and they involve overlapping statutes, regulations, and precedents that govern the compensation of employees in California. Overtime pay rates can cause workers to work longer hours than they would at a flat hourly rate.

How Is Overtime Pay for Nonexempt Employees Computed?

Laws regarding exempt versus nonexempt status vary slightly from state to state, so check your state’s specific requirements. However, there are some basic federal overtime rules to which you must adhere when classifying your employees. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1938.

The purpose of overtime pay is to provide employees with more compensation for their time and compensate them fairly when they have extra responsibilities that need to be completed. Overtime pay is designed to protect both employers and workers through fair wages, consistent work hours, and a productive workforce. It also ensures job security by providing benefits such as health insurance or 401K plans.

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We’ll break down how overtime works, when it’s necessary and how to calculate it. This is to help share the workload so they can concentrate on the process of actually running the business. Governments often cap overtime once a worker exceeds a certain number of hours. Note that certain states do not permit the fluctuating workweek calculation method.

So if you have an employee who earns $800 per week and they normally work 40 hours per week, you would divide $800 by 40 for their hourly rate. In most jurisdictions, the employer pays all overtime pay accrued during a given workweek on the employee’s regular payday for their usual pay period. Under the FLSA, any non-discretionary bonuses or commission earned by a nonexempt employee must be factored into their regular rate of pay. The calculation method varies depending on if the bonus or commission payment is allocated by the workweek or some other frequency, e.g., monthly, quarterly, annually. In some other jurisdictions, such as Canada, employers might be required to pay the overtime at the higher rate (e.g. 1.5 times the normal rate), but also be allowed to require time off in lieu at the normal rate. Thus, an employee might work 48 hours in one week, and 32 hours the next week (assuming over 40 hours is overtime), and be paid an extra amount equivalent to 4 hours work (8 multiplied by 0.5).


Let’s examine a scenario in which you might need to pay a salaried worker overtime. You have a traveling sales rep who earns commissions for each sale they make, and commission can count as salary. But for whatever reason, the sales rep doesn’t meet the DOL’s requirements for exempt employees who earn a commission.

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), anyone who works beyond the standard 40-hour workweek is eligible for overtime pay. Overtime pay is the compensation employees get for working longer than standard hours. Exempt status means that a job doesn’t include overtime payment and/or that the employer can pay less than the minimum wage.

Calculating overtime for a nonexempt employee that works a fluctuating workweek

Failing to pay overtime opens you up to lawsuits from current and former employees, and you could also be liable for the unpaid overtime. Employers are not required to pay exempt employees overtime but must do so for non-exempt employees. Annual overtime is the total number of extra hours an employee works outside their normally scheduled working time in a year. Besides all of that, let’s take a look at the formal overtime definition. Overtime is the amount of time that an employee works beyond regular working hours. Or, in other words – overtime refers to any hours that someone worked exceeding their typically scheduled work time.

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These benefits would not be available to employees who did not work the required 40 hours each week. Overtime is a form of premium pay for work done in addition to the normal 40 hours per week. In most cases, overtime is paid at one-and-a-half times the worker’s hourly rate. It is designed to provide employees with more compensation for their time and compensate them fairly when they have extra responsibilities that need to be completed. Ordinarily, the hours to be used in computing the regular rate of pay may not exceed the legal maximum regular hours which, in most cases, is 8 hours per workday, 40 hours per workweek. This maximum may also be affected by the number of days one works in a workweek.

Get pricing specific to your business

Get an overview of what your organization’s overtime pay rates are for different roles. Ensure your business follows the legal requirements as per your state’s guidelines. The eligibility is subject to state regulations, but the FLSA requires that all employers compensate their employees for extra hours worked beyond the normal working time. However, in the U.S., according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), specific jobs are excluded from overtime compensation requirements. They are called exempt, and employers are not obligated to pay overtime in these cases. Accordingly, employees who are generally eligible for overtime compensation are referred to as non-exempt employees.

What is overtime

The FLSA criteria around this can be complex to understand and apply so it’s worth seeking legal advice on this. This means you shouldn’t assume that a salaried employee isn’t owed overtime. Under the FLSA, overtime must be paid to both hourly and certain salaried employees. What constitutes a regular working schedule—and, therefore, overtime—varies. For example, under US law overtime is any work hours exceeding 40 hours in a workweek.

Overtime refers to any hours worked by an employee that exceed their normally scheduled working hours. While a generalized overtime definition refers simply to those hours worked outside of the standard working schedule, overtime commonly refers concurrently to the employee’s remunerations of such work. The overtime rate of pay varies between companies and by specifics of the overtime, such as the number of overtime hours worked. Overtime pay simply refers to the wage premium you receive for work done beyond normal working hours. “Normal working hours,” as defined in federal law and the law of most states, means a 40-hour workweek.

  • While it may be safe to assume salaried workers can’t collect overtime, Robert L. Föehl, business law and ethics professor at Ohio University, said that couldn’t be further from the truth.
  • As we established, overtime pay, also known as ‘time and a half pay,’ is money earned for work done over the standard 40 hours in a workweek.
  • Overtime pay for nonexempt employees is based on the total number of hours accrued by an employee in a work week.
  • Keep in mind that while someone gets a salary, it does not automatically determine them as exempt.

For clarification, you’ll need to consult the agency in your state that deals with wage and hour/labor standards violations. Department of Labor’s State Labor Laws page, if you need additional information about state-by-state guidelines. Since 2009, Cilenti & Cooper, PLLC has helped thousands of individuals recover millions of dollars in unpaid wages and overtime compensation. Manufacturing employees are limited to 13 hours of work in a 24-hour period.

The good news is, if you need to pay your employees overtime, that means there’s no lack of demand for your company’s services. What’s more, no matter the size of your business, you can use tools that make it easy to calculate and pay employees for the overtime they accrue. If you need help with understanding how many hours are considered overtime, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace.

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Overtime minimum pay in New York is $18,75 per hour, which is one and a half times the regular New York minimum salary of $12.50 per hour. The DOL set the $684-per-week salary requirement for these employees on January 1, 2020. Before that, salaried employees who were exempt from earning overtime pay had to make at least $455 per week. Overtime pay for nonexempt employees is based on the total number of hours accrued by an employee in a work week. In France, any hours worked over 35 a week have to be paid at an overtime rate.

As a result, failure to comply with the FLSA could cost 200% more than just paying the overtime in the first place. The right accounting software can facilitate the process of tracking and compensating overtime as well as other business expenses. Read our reviews of the best accounting software to find the right solution for your business. A company may harm themselves by docking a salaried employee for disciplinary reasons.

What is overtime

The duties that make an employee exempt include managing at least two other employees and having the authority to hire or fire employees. You can find the full list of exempt duties on the Department of Labor’s website. BambooHR provides a one stop shop to manage data, hire talent, run payroll, and help employees thrive.

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