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Am I eligible for overtime pay?

Many employers require their employees to work overtime. This often results in extra pay for the worker – typically time and a half per overtime hour. However, some employees are exempt from being paid overtime by their employers.

Rules for non-exempt employees

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a non-exempt hourly employee is entitled to overtime pay if they worked over 40 hours in a week. The legal rate for hourly workers is no less than 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate. It should be noted that the FLSA doesn’t require paying overtime for those who work nights, weeks or holidays – although some employers do voluntarily offer different pay rates for evening, weekend or holiday shifts.

Rules for exempt employees

Exempt employees are not required to get overtime pay. This means they won’t be paid for any additional time if they work over 40 hours a week. Exempt workers tend to be salaried and get paid more than $455 a week. However, there are also other classes of workers who are exempt from being entitled to overtime pay. These employees may include firefighters, airline employees and police officers.

While federal law entitles non-exempt workers to overtime pay, some employers may try to avoid paying the full amount that an employee is owed. These employers could use tactics such as refusing to pay workers for any additional work over 40 hours, paying less than one-and-a-half the regular hourly pay rate or exchanging overtime pay for extra time off or other gifts.

Employees need to understand their rights surrounding overtime pay – and their legal recourse if an employer fails to pay everything that the employee is owed. An employment attorney, such as those at Piro Zinna Cifelli Paris & Genitempo, may assist with a client’s overtime pay dispute.



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