About Us

Understanding Overtime Compensation: Concerns, Issues, and What You Need to Know

Are you paid by the hour? If so, you may rely on your overtime income for meeting your monthly expenses and supporting your family. When it comes to receiving overtime compensation, your employer is required to follow federal and state requirements.

Do you know what these requirements are or if your employer is following them? If not, now is the time to learn more.  You should seek the counsel of an attorney if you have more questions about your rights to overtime compensation.

Are You Considered Eligible to Receive Overtime Compensation?

According to federal law, your employer must comply with the standards set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The FLSA provides that every employee must receive overtime unless a specific legal exemption allows the employer not to pay overtime.  The FLSA thus requires your employer in most instances to pay you 1.5 times what you earn per hour for every hour you work beyond 40 hours during a typical workweek. However, there is a caveat to this – you must be an eligible, hourly or non-exempt, employee.

This leads to the question of – what employee is non-exempt, hourly, or eligible for overtime rather than exempt (i.e., ineligible)? Federal and state laws sometimes list the jobs that are ineligible for overtime pay.  So if your job does not appear on the list, then you will likely be eligible to receive overtime pay. While you can find a comprehensive list on the U.S. Department of Labor website, some of the most common examples of positions that are not eligible for overtime include:

  • Domestic workers who live in the employer’s residence.
  • Commissioned inside sales employees who work at retail businesses.
  • Mechanics and parts-clerks who service vehicles and are working for a non-manufacturing establishment such as car dealerships.
  • Employees in some computer-related jobs if those jobs actually involve coding or programming.
  • Employees of recreational establishments or amusement parks.

The exemption which prohibits you from receiving overtime also depends on your job duties and your salary.

Understanding Exemption Status

To make things even more complicated, some states have specific overtime laws which are responsible for regulating overtime compensation for various jobs.

Many employers fail to abide by the state and federal overtime laws. Many employers improperly characterize employees as being “exempt,” when their job should actually be overtime-eligible. You should talk to a lawyer if you are working more than forty (40) hours per week and your employer is not paying your overtime.  You may be entitled to unpaid overtime even if your employer pays you a salary.  You may also be entitled to unpaid overtime as an hourly employee.

Improper Calculation of Overtime Pay

Another common problem is that employers do not properly calculate a worker’s overtime pay. This means you are not receiving all the overtime pay you have earned.

Hire an Attorney for Help

For many people, overtime compensation is essential to earn a living. It may also be difficult to navigate. If you are entitled to overtime but are not getting it, or if you can’t figure out if you are getting what you deserve, it is a good idea to speak with an overtime lawyer. Contact RM Legal today.