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Working Overtime: When Does Unpaid Overtime Hours Become Illegal?

Many employers repeatedly ask and then require employees to work overtime. Most employees like overtime because it means more take home pay in their paychecks. But, what about working overtime and not being paid for it? How much overtime can you work and not be paid for it before it becomes a violation?

The Fair Labor Standards Act, (“FLSA”), is a federal law which sets the minimum requirements for when and how much overtime pay employees will receive. The standard overtime pay is time and a half of your regular hourly pay. The employer must pay all employees the legally correct overtime rate for all overtime worked.

Standard Hours

The standard of regular hours is normally 40 hours per week. Employers normally pay employees for the 40 regular hours at the employees’ usual hourly rate. Employers must then pay overtime for any work time over 40 hours per week.

The way overtime is calculated and pay can vary from state to state, but you are still eligible for overtime pay, by federal and/or state law.

The laws for overtime tend to be confusing for many employees and therefore, often taken advantage of.


Employees are entitled to overtime pay only if they work more than 40 hours per week. For example, if you worked 10 hours on a 4 day week but had a holiday on Monday, you are not entitled to overtime.

However, if you worked a full 40 hours for the week and your boss asks you to finish up some work at home, you are most certainly entitled to overtime for the hours you worked at home. The location of where you perform the work does not matter. Your employer must pay you for all work time no matter where you perform the work.

Keep Track of Your Hours

You should try to keep a record of all your overtime worked be it at the workplace, at a remote site for a work event, or hours working at home. These records will help you if you file an unpaid overtime claim. However, you are not required to keep these records to file a claim.

Contact an employment lawyer for advice if you are not being fully compensated for your overtime hours. Unpaid overtime can add up to a lot of money quickly. You are entitled to be paid for all hours including overtime hours that you work.

Contact the employment experts at Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC to determine if you have an unpaid overtime case against your employer. You deserved to be paid what you are worth.