Science has shown working more than forty hours per week can harm your mental well-being. Federal law and state law protect many workers from this harm by requiring employers to pay their workers extra pay for hours worked over forty per week.
When a non-exempt worker works more than forty hours per week, the employer must pay the worker one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay. What is the regular rate of pay? If you are paid on an hourly basis, then it is your hourly rate. But if you are non-paid on an hourly basis, you can find your regular of pay by dividing all the wages you earn in that week by all the hours you worked in that week. All your wages can include commissions, bonuses, flat payments, and other compensation received for work performed.
When is a worker exempt from overtime? There are more than a dozen types of exemptions. Some of the most common exemptions are what are called “white-collar” exemptions. Certain executives, managers, administrators, and professionals are exempt from overtime compensation if they are paid a high-enough salary. Simply being paid a salary is NOT enough to be overtime exempt.
As of 2021, the salary threshold is $3,559.40 per month at companies with less than 50 workers; the salary threshold is $4,152.63 per month at larger companies. These white-collar exemptions do not apply to you if you earn less than the salary threshold! Determining if you are an “executive,” “manager,” “administrator,” or “professional” is based on what you actually do for work, not your job title. It is a complicated determination.
What are some common ways employers violate the overtime laws? One way is when they don’t pay workers for all hours worked. Another way is when they undercalculate an employee’s regular rate of pay by not including extra payments (e.g., incentive payments, commissions, non-discretionary bonuses, etc.). Yet another way is when they incorrectly decide a worker is overtime exempt.
Did you work more than forty hours per week? Were you not paid one-and-one-half times your regular pay for those hours? Were you non-exempt? An experienced attorney can help you answer these questions. Schedule a consultation with Pechtel Law PLLC to discuss your rights and your options.