It’s only a matter of overtime
Have your employees been going the extra mile lately? What if they’re clocking in the equivalent of a marathon in hours? If you’re looking over your timesheets and notice that your star employee racked up a whopping 55 hours last week, it’s time to get familiar with the legal requirements of overtime pay. You’re going to need to calculate overtime whether or not the hours your employee worked were authorized by management.
(Note: information in this article is applicable to hourly, non-exempt employees. For a more in-depth analysis of overtime pay, including regular rate of pay and exempt employees, check out the newly updated Wages and Hours – An Employer’s Guide.)
What are the federal requirements for overtime pay?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that covered employers pay non-exempt employees for overtime at a rate of at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular wage rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in one workweek.
Overtime must be computed for each workweek – i.e., if an employee works 30 hours one week and 50 the next, the employer must pay the employee overtime compensation for 10 hours for the second week.
Do I need to pay overtime for hours not worked?
Hours that are paid but not worked do not have to be counted as hours worked under the FLSA, but you are free to treat them as hours worked either by agreement or as a matter of practice.
Examples include:
- holidays
- vacations
- sick days
- absences due to:
- voting
- jury service
- reporting to a draft board
- attending a family member’s funeral
- inability to reach work due to inclement weather.
What should I include when calculating the regular rate of pay for my employees?
The overtime pay rate is one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate. All compensation must be included in computing an employee’s regular rate unless specifically excluded by the FLSA. The FLSA excludes the following payments from the regular rate computation:
- discretionary bonuses
- prizes
- gifts
- expense reimbursements
- benefit plan contributions (generally do not include cafeteria plans that include a cash option)
- radio and television talent fees which satisfy government regulations
- some stock options, including those exercised by non-exempt employees
- premium payments for overtime work.
An employee’s regular rate is calculated by dividing the employee’s total weekly compensation by the total hours worked during the workweek. Regular rate for overtime compensation purposes must include:
- on-call pay
- shift differential
- weekend differential
- longevity pay
- commission payments
- payments for sold-back benefits (such as vacation or sick pay if the sale is during employment rather than a terminal benefit)
- safety, incentive, productivity, attendance, and merit bonuses.
What if my state has overtime requirements that differ from the FLSA?
State laws can have different requirements for overtime pay. As a result, you will want to check your state’s law and ensure that you are following the law that is most friendly to employees. In general, the rate of pay for overtime hours must be at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
The following chart contains information regarding state laws for overtime. This chart contains only the general overtime provisions. Situations where provisions may differ include small employers, employers of minors, employers in particular industries, and public sector employers. Additionally, the chart generally does not address exemptions from state law overtime requirements. You should not rely solely on this chart and should be sure to familiarize yourself thoroughly with the law of your state.
Keep in mind that the law that is the most favorable to employees, whether federal or state, is the law that must be followed.
State overtime pay requirements chart
State |
Overtime |
---|---|
Alabama |
No provision. |
Alaska |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 8 hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek (although in calculating the hours worked per week, any hours over 8 in a day are not counted as they would be compensated separately for those hours). |
Arizona |
No provision. |
Arkansas |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
California |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. All hours worked over 12 hours per day must be compensated at double the regular rate of pay. All hours worked after the 7^{th} consecutive day of work must be compensated at 1½ times the regular rate of pay for the first 7 hours and at double the regular rate of pay for 8 or more hours. |
Colorado |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek, 12 hours per workday, or 12 consecutive hours without regard to the starting or ending time of the workday (excluding meal breaks free from duty), whichever gives the employee the greater amount of wages. |
Connecticut |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked after 40 hours in a workweek. |
Delaware |
No provision. |
District of Columbia |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Florida |
No provision. |
Georgia |
No provision. |
Guam |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Hawaii |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Idaho |
No provision. |
Illinois |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Indiana |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Iowa |
No provision. |
Kansas |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 46 hours in a workweek by employees who are not subject to the FLSA’s overtime requirements. |
Kentucky |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek and, if the employee has worked all 7 days in a workweek, for all hours worked on the 7^{th} day. |
Louisiana |
No provision. |
Maine |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. Employees may not be required to work more than 80 hours of overtime in any consecutive two-week period. |
Maryland |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Massachusetts |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. In addition, retailers that employ more than 7 people must pay employees premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked on Sundays and certain holidays; employees cannot be forced to work on these days. |
Michigan |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Minnesota |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 48 hours in a workweek. |
Mississippi |
No provision. |
Missouri |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek by employees who are considered non-exempt under the FLSA. |
Montana |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Nebraska |
No provision. |
Nevada |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 8 hours in a workday for employees whose regular rate is less than 1½ times minimum wage, and required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek for all employees, unless the employee agrees to work 4 10-hour shifts per week. |
New Hampshire |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
New Jersey |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
New Mexico |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
New York |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
North Carolina |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
North Dakota |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Ohio |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Oklahoma |
No provision. |
Oregon |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Pennsylvania |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Puerto Rico |
Employers covered by the FLSA must pay non-exempt employees overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek or 8 hours in a workday. Employers not covered by the FLSA must pay an overtime rate of 2 times the regular rate for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek or 8 hours in a workday. |
Rhode Island |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek |
South Carolina |
No provision. |
South Dakota |
No provision. |
Tennessee |
No provision. |
Texas |
No provision. |
Utah |
No provision. |
Vermont |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Virgin Islands |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek or 8 hours in a workday, and for any hours worked on the 6^{th} and/or 7^{th} consecutive day of a workweek, whichever excess is calculated to give the employee the greatest compensation. |
Virginia |
No provision. |
Washington |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek |
West Virginia |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Wisconsin |
Overtime/premium pay at the rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay is required for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. |
Wyoming |
No provision. |