If you’re like most workers, you’re probably not aware of your rights when it comes to overtime. Overtime law can be confusing, and many employees don’t know their rights or how to protect them.
We’ll help you understand the basics of overtime law so that you can make sure you’re being treated fairly.
What is Overtime
Overtime is any hours worked beyond the 40-hour work week. Federal law requires that covered, nonexempt workers receive one and a half times their regular hourly wage for any hours worked over 40 in a work week.
Some states have their own laws governing overtime, and those laws may provide greater protections for workers.
Who is Covered by Overtime Laws
Most employees in the United States are covered by overtime laws. However, there are some exceptions. The following workers are not covered by federal overtime laws:
- Independent contractors
- Some agricultural workers
- Certain computer professionals
- Outside salespeople
- Some commissioned retail workers
- Some workers in the fishing industry
- Domestic service workers who live in their employer’s home
can an employer add duties without compensation
No. If your employer asks you to perform duties that are not part of your normal job description, they must compensate you for your time. This compensation must be at least minimum wage and overtime if applicable.
There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if an employee is training for a new position, their employer may not have to pay them for the time spent in training. If you’re not sure whether your employer is required to pay you for the extra duties they’ve asked you to perform, you should speak to an experienced employment law attorney.
When Are You Entitled to Overtime Pay
You are entitled to overtime pay any time you work more than 40 hours in a work week. Your employer may not require you to work more than 40 hours in a week unless they are willing to pay you overtime.
Some employers try to get around this by paying employees a salary instead of an hourly wage. However, this does not mean that the employees are not entitled to overtime pay. If you are paid a salary, your employer must still pay you overtime unless you qualify for one of the exemptions listed above.
For example, let’s say you’re a salaried employee who works 50 hours a week. Your employer must pay you overtime for the 10 hours you worked over 40. They may not simply give you two days off instead of paying you overtime.
How to Calculate Overtime Pay
Overtime pay is calculated at one and a half times your regular hourly wage. For example, if you make $10 an hour, your overtime pay would be $15 an hour. To calculate your overtime pay, simply multiply your regular hourly wage by 1.5. Then, multiply that number by the number of overtime hours you worked.
For example, let’s say you make $10 an hour and you worked 50 hours this week. 10 hours of those hours were overtime. To calculate your overtime pay, you would first multiply your regular hourly wage ($10) by 1.5 to get $15. Then, you would multiply $15 by the number of overtime hours worked (10) to get $150. This means you would be entitled to $150 in overtime pay for the week. Your employer may not require you to work more than 40 hours in a week unless they are willing to pay you overtime. If you are paid a salary, your employer must still pay you overtime unless you qualify for one of the exemptions listed above.
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