In the military, you can earn special pay such as combat pay or flight pay. But Uncle Sam doesn’t pay overtime for extra hours worked.
In the civilian workforce, federal law requires employers to pay employees overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Here are some things you need to know about overtime if you are not a salaried employee.
- The U.S. Department of Labor defines overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half of regular of pay.
- There is no limit to the amount of hours an employee 16 years or older may work in a workweek.
- Overtime is not required on holidays, Saturdays, Sundays or regular days of rest unless overtime hours are accrued on those days.
- A workweek is a fixed regularly occurring period of 168 hours, or seven consecutive 24-hour periods.
- A workweek does not need to coincide with the calendar week and may begin and end on any day on any hour of the day.
- Averaging hours over two or more workweeks is not permitted.
- Overtime wages are typically paid on a regular pay schedule for the period in which the wages were earned.
The position an employee holds dictates whether or not they are exempt or non-exempt from overtime provisions of the Fair Labor and Standards Act. So how do you know what positions are exempt from overtime and not required to keep time records? The most commonly used exemption categories are:
- Executive (e. g. CEO, president, COO, etc.)
- Administrative (e.g. operations managers, branch managers, etc.)
- Professional (e.g. lawyers, accountants, etc.)
- Certain commissioned sales employees
- Outside sales employees
- Computer professionals (e.g. IT professionals)
- Salesmen and mechanics employed by automobile dealerships
- Certain seasonal and recreational establishment employees
- Casual babysitters
- Live-in domestic help
A word of caution here: Each of these categories has specific criteria to be met in order for the exemption to apply and should be researched thoroughly. Well-written job descriptions for each position should clarify which positions are exempt from overtime provisions within your company.