Overtime Law FAQs

Who is in charge of overtime pay?

The national minimum rate of overtime pay is set by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), and is administrated and enforced by the Department of Labor.

When should I receive overtime pay?

Under the FLSA, employees who are non-exempt and who work more than 40 hours in a given work week are entitled to overtime pay. A work week is defined as a period of 7 consecutive 24-hour periods, regardless of the day on which that week begins.

How much should I earn for overtime hours?

If you are non-exempt, as the vast majority of the workers in America are, federal overtime law dictates that you must be paid 1.5 times your regular hourly rate (“time-and-a-half”) for every hour you work over a 40 hour work week.

Who is exempt from overtime pay?

In truth, roughly 86% of the workers in the United States are non-exempt from overtime pay, which means that they must be paid overtime wages if they work more than 40 hours in a week. However, many employers take advantage of a general lack of knowledge of overtime laws to misclassify employees as exempt from overtime pay. One common way this happens is when employers deny workers overtime pay because they earn a salary rather than hourly wages. Earning a salary does not exempt an employee from overtime pay, nor does a specific title. To be exempt from overtime pay, an employee must fit into one of the following categories:

  • Executive: An executive employee must supervise more than 2 other employees, must have the power to hire and fire employees, and must perform management tasks as his or her primary duty.
  • Administrative: Administrative employees must perform office work directly related to general business operations or management procedures as their primary tasks.
  • Professional: To be classified as a professional employee, a person must have pursued an advanced course of study specific to his or her career.

I earn a salary, not hourly wages. Does that mean I can’t earn overtime pay?

It is a common misconception that salaried employees are not entitled to overtime pay, nor does a specific job title automatically exempt an employee from overtime pay. In order to be exempt from overtime pay, an employee must fit into one of the following categories: executive, administrative, or professional. For detailed descriptions of these types of employees, we invite you to view our Overtime Exemptions page.

What compensation can result from overtime pay lawsuits?

In overtime lawsuit compensation, plaintiffs are eligible to recover back pay for all overtime hours worked in the two years prior to the filing of the lawsuit and for all overtime hours worked until the suit is officially closed. They may also be able to recover liquidated damages equal to the amount of back pay received, as well as punitive damages and legal fee reimbursement.

What should I do if I believe I was illegally denied overtime pay?

If you suspect that you are entitled to overtime pay which you did not receive, you should retain the counsel of an experienced overtime lawyer. Overtime laws can vary according to state, and they are often very complex. A respected overtime lawyer from Phillips Dayes Law Firm will be happy to evaluate your unique situation in a free legal consultation. We encourage you to contact us for more information.