Understanding Overtime Pay Rules in the US

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that governs overtime pay in the US. Unless exempt, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked more than 40 in a workweek at a rate no lower than one and a half times their regular wage. This means that employers must pay employees an overtime rate for all hours worked in a workweek beyond forty (40). In addition to the federal law, some states have additional obligations.

For example, California requires employers to pay overtime to employees who work more than eight hours in a workday, as well as the first eight hours of the seventh consecutive day worked in a workweek. Practical nurses and legal assistants are also specifically protected by the overtime law, as these particular professionals tend to endure long working hours and, otherwise, their employers may exploit them or overwork them. Certain industries may be exempt from overtime regulations. Employers should be aware of any exemptions that apply to their business.

If your job qualifies for overtime protection under state and federal overtime laws, the law requires your employer to pay you an overtime premium for all qualifying overtime hours worked. When state and federal overtime laws differ, employers must apply the law that provides the most protection to their employees. Many states have adopted the federal overtime laws set out in the FLSA.

Cornelius Maxon
Cornelius Maxon

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