Overtime: The In’s and Out’s of the Fair Labor Standards Act
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, overtime compensation must be paid to all “non-exempt” employees. Overtime compensation is paid at one-and-a-half times an employee’s regular hourly rate. This means that an employee who earns $20.00 per hour must be paid $30.00 per hour (1.5 times their regular rate of $20 per hour) when they work overtime. Overtime is payable when employees work more than 40 hours in a work week. Problems can arise, however, when employees work through lunch breaks, or before or after their scheduled shifts, and do not count that as time worked. Employees often consider such time not to be compensable (or payable) because their employer considers it to be “down” or “personal” time, or it otherwise occurs before or after their schedule. Unfortunately, many employers require workers to record on their timesheets that they have taken a lunch break, or only worked their scheduled hours. When they do, they are often being denied overtime compensation.
In addition to misconceptions about lunch breaks, employees often believe there are limits on the amount of overtime they may be required to work each week, or that they are entitled to “double time” for doing so. However, under federal law, there is no limit on the number of hours that employees aged 16 and older may work each week and there is no double time or other increase in the rate of overtime simply because an employee works 50 or even 60 hours a week. In addition, employees are not entitled to overtime compensation because they work on a Saturday, Sunday, holidays or other rest days (unless, of course, overtime is worked). Employees must therefore remain vigilant about their entitlement to overtime compensation and, if they are unsure of their rights, consult Conway Legal for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Overtime compensation may be a significant piece of an employee’s compensation package. Conway Legal knows the in’s and out of the Fair Labor Standards Act – call us: we know what to expect and when to expect and will help ensure that your rights are protected.