Overtime Pay Laws Under The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA )
The federal overtime provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These overtime pay laws require that employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. The overtime rate cannot be less than time and one-half their regular rate of pay.
Not all employers are required to pay overtime under the FLSA. Typically, a business is covered by the FLSA if it has $500,000 or more in annual sales. A smaller business must pay overtime if the employees work in what Congress calls “interstate commerce,” – which is conducting business between states. This can include making telephone calls to or from another state, sending mail out of state, or handling goods that either come from or travel to another state.
If an employer falls within the Fair Labor Standards Act, the following classes of workers are automatically eligible for overtime pay, regardless of how much they earn:
- “Blue collar” workers or other manual laborers who perform work involving repetitive operations with their hands, physical skill and energy. This can include carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, construction workers,, longshoremen, and laborers.
- Police officers, state troopers, detectives, paramedics, fire fighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and other “first responders.”
- Parole officers, probation officers, and park rangers
- Licensed practical nurses.
Certain categories of employees are considered as “exempt” from the statute, meaning that they are not entitled to receive overtime pay based upon their primary job classification. Exempt employees include a salaried employee making more than $455 per week AND the job meets one of the five exemption categories: executive exemption, administrative exemption, learned professional exemption, computer employee exemption and the outside sales exemption. The determination of an employee’s primary duty must be based on all the facts in a particular case, with the major emphasis on the character of the employee’s job as a whole.
The Act does not limit the number of hours that an employee may work in any workweek, but rather provides for overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. Overtime pay is not required for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on those days. An employee’s workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours — seven consecutive 24-hour periods- and it does not have to coincide with the calendar week.
Averaging of hours over two or more weeks is not permitted. This means that an employer cannot require an employee to work 60 hours in one week and 20 hours the following week and then claim that the two week period averaged out to 40 hours per week. Normally, overtime pay earned in a particular workweek must be paid on the regular pay day for the pay period in which the wages were earned.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employees must receive time-and-a-half pay for hours worked over 40 during one workweek. The regular rate of pay cannot be less than the minimum wage. Earnings may be determined on a piece-rate, salary, commission, or some other basis, but in all cases the overtime pay due must be computed on the basis of the average hourly rate derived from such earnings. This is calculated by dividing the total pay for employment in any workweek by the total number of hours actually worked. Discretionary bonuses, gifts, and payments in the nature of gifts for special occasions are not included in this calculation.
Filing an Overtime Pay FLSA Lawsuit
If your employer is denying you overtime pay or has not paid you overtime wages in the past, you should seriously consider filing an unpaid overtime lawsuit. These lawsuits can provide you with significant compensation for your unpaid wages and often include payment of penalties, liquidated damages, interest, and attorney’s fees. Every day that you wait to speak with a overtime pay lawyer may be costing you significant money.
Our experienced and qualified legal team with provide you with a FREE CONSULTATION on your claim and if we accept your case, we will not charge any legal fees or costs unless we are successful in winning you a settlement. Call us today at (855) 754-2795 to discuss your case right now!