Are Employers Required to Pay Overtime?

Overtime laws are detailed in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for interpreting the law and setting the specific rules for businesses to follow. These rules designate when employers are required to pay their employees overtime, the rate of pay they are required to provide for overtime hours, and which employees are eligible to receive overtime pay in accordance with overtime protections in the FLSA.

What is Overtime?Overtime is any time worked over 40 hours in one workweek, which is defined by the U.S. DOL as any fixed and recurring period of 168 hours (or in common terms – seven full, consecutive days). Any employee who is not “exempt” as described by the law, must receive overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay for each hour they work over the full 40 hours in one workweek. The law does not limit how many overtime hours an employee can work; it simply requires that the employee be receiving the appropriate overtime pay.

As is the case with nearly every rule, there are exceptions, or in this case…exemptions.

If an employee falls into any of the following categories, their employers are not required by federal law to provide them with overtime wages:

  1. Executive Employees: Those who make a salary of $455 or more per week and perform primary duties including management of company or a department or subdivision of the company are referred to as executive employees. They routinely direct two or more other employees in their job duties and have the authority to hire/fire employees, or at the very least, have the power to influence the hiring and firing process.
  2. Administrative Employees: Those who are paid a salary of $455 per week or more whose primary job duties are office or non-manual work in connection with the management of general business operations. To fall into this category, the employee must also exercise discretion and independent judgment on important matters.
  3. Professional Employees: Those who are paid a salary of $455 per week or more with primary job duties that require advanced knowledge, i.e., duties that are intellectual in character and require consistent exercise of discretion and judgment.
  4. Computer Employees: Those who receive compensation by salary of no less than $455 per week, or no less than $27.63 per hour if paid hourly. Primary duties of the employee must include application of systems analysis techniques/procedures, or the design/development of computer programs or systems.
  5. Outside Sales: Those whose primary duty is to make sales, obtain orders or contracts for services or products. They must also work outside of the employer’s primary workplace on a regular basis.
  6. If you have questions about your eligibility for overtime pay, please get in touch with one of the experienced employment law attorneys at Barrett & Farahany.
Categories: