Who is entitled to overtime pay?

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires overtime to be paid to covered and nonexempt employees at a rate of not less than one and one-half times an employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours work in above 40 hours in a workweek.   So if your hourly pay rate is $10.00 per hour, your overtime hourly rate is $15.00 per hour.  There is no Federal Law limiting the number of hours an employee can work unless the employee is a minor.  So overtime pay can add up to a lot of money if you work a lot of overtime so sometimes employers don’t like to pay it.

An employee who is paid on an hourly basis is usually considered to be covered and nonexempt employee, regardless of the hourly rate paid. Employees are also nonexempt if they do not qualify for one of several white-collar exemptions or are salesperson working on a commission.

Here are a few examples of what an employer might do to avoid paying overtime:

  • Employers misclassifying an employee as exempt when they really are a nonexempt employee.
  • Employers refusing to pay overtime because the employee gets a salary.
  • Require employees to work off the clock so that it looks like they are working less than 40 hours.

Examples of working off the clock include:

  • An employee who is forced to “clock out” but is required to continue working.
  • An employee is required to do work before “clocking in”.