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Are You Entitled to Overtime Pay?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2014 | Articles

Some employees are eligible for overtime pay while others are not. Employers subject to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act are required to pay overtime—which is 1.5 times that of regular pay—to certain employees for every hour they work over their regular schedule. In some states, even if the employer is not covered by the FLSA, they still have to pay overtime.

However, certain categories of employees are not eligible for overtime pay. Other factors that affect your eligibility include the number of hours you worked and the law in your state.

Does Your Employer Have to Pay Overtime?

Companies covered by the Fair Labor Standard Act have to pay overtime, and these are usually companies that make at least $500,000 in sales per year. However, smaller companies are also covered by the FLSA if they do business across state lines, which means even making phone calls to another state, or sending mail, or even simply handling goods that have come from or going to another state. In other words, it’s very rare to find a company that is so small and isolated for it to truly escape the far reaches of this act. Even in such cases, though, state laws will often ensure employees are still entitled to overtime pay.

Who isn’t Entitled to Overtime Pay?

Since the FLSA is so far-reaching, it’s more important to check whether you are eligible to receive overtime pay. The law states that certain categories of employees are not entitled to receiving additional pay for extra hours worked. Such categories of employees include:

White-collar workers paid on a salary basis

Independent contractors


Outside salespeople

Systems analysts, software engineers, programmers earning at least $27.63 per hour

Employees working in seasonal or recreational organizations

Employees who deliver newspapers

Criminal investigators

There are other categories as well, which is why it’s best to consult an employment lawyer to check whether you are being treated fairly or not.

When does the Law Say You have Worked Overtime?

According to law, any hours worked over 40 hours per week are considered overtime. In other words, if you work 10 hours one day, but only work six the following day and the remaining three days you work eight hours, then it’s not considered that you worked overtime. However, if you worked 42 hours in a week, that is considered overtime. Note, though, that some states do take into account daily overtime, meaning that if you work more than eight hours in a day, regardless of what you do the rest of the week, you are eligible to be paid for overtime. One of these states is California.

How to Work Out How much You are Owed?

Since you are eligible for a 50 percent premium for any overtime you put in, it’s relatively easy to calculate how much you are owed. For example, if your standard pay is $10 per hour, then you are entitled to $15 for every hour you put in of overtime. In California, that would be anything over eight hours per day, while other states limit it to anything over 40 hours per week.

So, if one week you worked 45 hours, then instead of your normal $400 paycheck, you should be paid $475. If you feel that your employer isn’t paying you correctly, you can first consult with your HR department or payroll. However, before you do so, you might want to consult an employment lawyer to make sure that you really are eligible for overtime. If you are and your employer refuses to pay you, then you may have the grounds for a lawsuit. Call the employment attorneys at Makarem & Associates directly at 800-610-9646 or email us at [email protected].