How Overtime Pay Works
If I work more than 40 hours in a week, must I settle for my salary? Knowing the law may be a bonus...
Mary Keating: The Fair Labor Standards Act governs minimum wage and maximum hours that an employee can be required to work each week at that minimum wage. Assuming that you are not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, you are entitled to make minimum wage and you will paid overtime if you work more than 40 hours in a week. Rochelle Eisenberg: And you cannot combine weeks. For instance, some employers will say, well you worked 50 hours this week, so I want you to work fewer hours next week so that I don't have to pay you the overtime of this week. Doesn't work like that. You can't combine work weeks. Mary Keating: An hourly employee is someone who is entitled to overtime if he or she works more than 40 hours in a week, and a salaried employee is often the word given to an exempt employee but it's not enough for the employer to say you are on salary, you don't get overtime. It's really the law that decides whether you fall into that exemption. Rochelle Eisenberg: If you are a professional employee such as an attorney, a physician, an accountant, you are an exempt employee and not entitled to overtime. If you are a certain type of administrative employee, you are not entitled to overtime but just because you are called an administrative assistant doesn't mean you are not entitled to overtime. Your typical administrative assistant is entitled to overtime and then you have your executive employee, the president of the company, that person is not entitled to overtime. Employers are required to keep wage and hour records on employees who are entitled to overtime. Often the employer is not keeping the record but the employee is. I worked once for an employer who was not keeping those records and an employee came up to me, she was entitled to literally hundreds of hours of overtime. She hadn't asked for permission to work it but she worked it. The employer must pay her the overtime. Under certain wage and hour laws, the employer may have to pay triple the overtime, and if the employee has a lawyer, you might have to pay those lawyer fees too. It's very simple to keep wage and hour records, it's surprising how many employers do not.