Overtime: When Do You Qualify?

by alanbrady on August 26, 2013

  • SumoMe

Over the years, United States employees have fought hard to ensure that they are treated fairly by employers. In an effort improve work conditions for Americans, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1938.The FLSA is responsible for setting the federal overtime standards in the United States. The FLSA set a national standard for overtime and minimum wage that all employers are held to. If you believe that your employee is not paying you the overtime that you deserve, you should contact a lawyer, call a state representative, or research state and federal labor laws.

What is Overtime?

The FLSA defines overtime as any employees work week that exceeds 40 hours. Once a qualified employee exceeds 40 hours, federal standards grant them 1 and ½ their regular wage. Contrary to popular opinion, overtime pay is not required for employees that work on holidays. Nor is it required for employees that work weekends or regular days of rest unless they qualify for overtime.

If you feel that you should have overtime pay on holidays or other days of rest, you should be aware that any employer that give overtime pay when employees do not qualify for overtime do so because they have entered a written or verbal agreement with their employees to do so.

You Think Your Employer is Shorting You Your Overtime Wage?

When determining if your employer has been shorting you overtime pay, you should be aware that some states have their own overtime laws. When you are working in a state with overtime laws, the laws—either state or federal—with the higher pay rate are given. For example Alaska’s law requires overtime pay if an employee exceed 10 hours per day. Alaska citizens also qualify for the federal law that gives overtime if the employee exceeds 40 hours per week.

What Do You Mean I Don’t Qualify for Overtime?

According to federal and state law some positions do not require overtime pay. This can make it slightly complicated to determine if your employer has been shorting you money. In general you might be exempt from overtime if you are paid on a salary basis of at least $455 per week and meet certain tests regarding your job duties. You should consult this page for a more in-depth list of exempt positions.

Some federal exemptions include:

  • Bona fide professional, executive, and administration (This includes elementary and secondary school teachers).
  • Outside sales employees.
  • Certain computer employees.

You will also need to check if you live in a state with their own exemptions.

  • Alaska exempts employees who work for employers with less than 4 workers.
  • Vermont exempts retail, service, seasonal amusement, hotel, motel, restaurant, and transportation employees.

The question of whether your employee has been shorting you overtime comes down to whether your position qualifies for overtime. If you are unsure if your position is exempt from overtime, you should either contact your states Wage and Hour Division office or seek out an employment lawyer. Your wage and hour division office and a lawyer in your area will be able to tell you whether your position is exempt from state and federal overtime laws. Once you know if your boss owes you overtime wages, you can seek legal counsel on what your next steps should be to seek restitution.

alanbrady

alanbrady

Alan Brady is a writer who uses personal experience as inspiration to write about family, law, and business practices. He currently writes for attorneys.com which locates local mortgage lawyers.
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