Overtime Questions & Answers
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) categorizes employees into either an exempt or non-exempt class. Only the non-exempt workers qualify for overtime pay. Once a non-exempt employee works over 40 hours in any given week, an employer must pay time and a half the employee’s regular rate for the additional hours.
Overtime-exempt workers include executive members, administrative staff, professional employees, salespeople, computer specialists, highly compensated employees, and independent contractors.
Many of the workers in this group usually earn a salary of at least $684 per week or $35,568 annually. Before these new rates came into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the threshold was $455 weekly or $23,660 annually.
No, FLSA does not require employers to pay you for working during the weekends, holidays, or regular rest days. You should agree with an employer on the extra pay. However, if there are overtime hours locked in during such days, then an employer should compensate you at the legal rate.
While FLSA regulates how employers compensate workers, it does not set the maximum number of hours employees can work. An employer is free to determine how long you work each day or week, as long as you are at least 16 years old.
For younger workers between ages 14 and 15, FLSA restricts the hours of work. Child labor laws vary among states, but generally, young employees can only work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. During school days, they can work for up to 3 hours per day or 18 hours per week. On non-school days, they are restricted to 8 hours daily or 40 hours weekly.
Yes, the Federal law sets time limits in most states, requiring victims of unpaid overtime to file lawsuits against their employers within two years. For cases involving willful wage violations, the timeframe is three years. Some states like California, Hawaii, New York, and Kentucky have extended periods for recovering unpaid overtime.
Chinese Overtime is an informal term for the fluctuating workweek method of calculating overtime. It applies to employees who earn a fixed salary, even if the work hours fluctuate from week to week. If the employees work over 40 hours, they do not get paid the traditional rate of 1.5 times their standard hourly rates. Instead, they get half-time pay.
If your job duties are not FLSA-exempted, an employer could be violating your overtime rights by giving you a flat salary. Not all salaried employees are overtime-exempt.
No, getting bonuses as compensation for the extra hours worked does not satisfy the state and federal overtime pay requirements. An employer should consider the bonus amounts when determining your regular rate to pay the rightfully earned overtime money.
Compensating employees for overtime hours with time off instead of paying for the additional hours they have worked is illegal in the private sector.
Tipped employees are supposed to retain all their tips. If the tips are subject to tip pooling and sharing, only the tipped employees should benefit. It is illegal for managers, cooks, cleaners, and other non-tipped workers to get a share of the tips.
At The Hedgpeth Law Firm, PC, we charge contingency fees. It means we only charge clients if we win a favorable settlement. Precisely, we collect a percentage of the award. If we lose a case, we don’t get paid. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal services.