When Do Employers Have To Pay Overtime?

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Labor laws in the country provide that employers must pay overtime where employees work beyond the standard eight hours a day. The issue of overtime payments has been a significant debate across the country, with a considerable number of companies paying their workers for extra hours worked while others have always been looking for exceptions to the rule. Current labor laws indicate that employers must pay standard wages plus an additional 50% overtime premium for every extra hour worked.

However, the current labor laws contain many exceptions, which means that not all employees who work for extra hours are entitled to overtime payments. Therefore, as an employee in a specific organization, you need to know whether you are classified as ‘nonexempt’ or ‘exempt’ when it comes to overtime premium payments.

What Counts as Overtime?

Before requesting overtime payment in any organization, it is necessary for employees to understand what counts as overtime depending on both federal and state laws. In most states, there are specific laws imposed weekly for every hour worked beyond the standard forty hours. However, this law does not pay attention to the number of hours worked during any day of the week.

However, California and other several states have different laws when it comes to defining what constitutes overtime. These states have laws governing the number of hours that one works in a day. Every extra hour worked after the standard eight hours is considered overtime. From this analogy, you need to understand your state’s overtime laws to be on the safer side.

Employers That Must Pay Overtime

There is no doubt that all companies must pay for any extra hours worked. However, not all employers are required to pay for extra hours worked. Therefore, you need to determine whether your company must pay overtime, depending on whether it has been covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. This federal law sets the overtime rules.

If your employer is getting more than $500,000 in annual sales, you’re covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which means you’re entitled to overtime. However, companies that record lower than $500,000 annually but work in several states across the country must pay overtime. Not that sending emails or making business calls to another state amounts to interstate commerce.

Employees Not Entitled to Overtime

As highlighted above, most employers have to pay overtime to their workers. However, there is a vast number of employees who are not entitled to overtime compensation:

  • Independent Contractors
  • Volunteer Workers
  • Outside Salespeople
  • Newspaper Deliverers
  • Criminal Investigators

The list may actually expand and may cover employees who were handling an emergency or a necessary activity in the organization. Therefore, as an employee, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the state laws so that you can determine whether you are qualified for overtime.

Executive, Administrative, and Professional Employees

If you fallow in any of the above categories, federal and state laws indicate that you are not required to receive any overtime premium. Very many companies have been using this legal weakness to classify workers as administrative, executive, and professional employees to reduce overtime payments. However, some states have already created strict laws that govern who can be defined as an executive or administrator in an organization to safeguard the interests of the workers.

When To Contact a Labor Attorney

If you’re not receiving overtime pay, which you are qualified to get, you need to contact your labor and employment lawyer to explore the possible legal options. Your employment lawyer will request your employer to pay overtime for all the extra hours worked failure to which they will guide you on the best legal strategy to consider.