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Overtime Variations by State

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

Almost everyone is familiar with the basic Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirement that all nonexempt employees must be paid at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. But an employer also must comply with any state overtime requirements

Many states (marked N/A in the chart below) have no overtime requirements of their own. Except in rare cases in which an employer is not covered by the FLSA, employees in these states will need to be paid overtime according to federal rules.

Some states (marked "Same as federal") have their own overtime requirements, but they are for all intents and purposes the same as those of the FLSA.

Other states have unique requirements for private-sector employers, which are briefly described in the chart below. In some states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Rhode Island - the overtime standard is more stringent than the federal standard. In these states, the more stringent state standard must be followed, except in rare cases in which an employee is exempt from state overtime requirements but not federal overtime requirements. In other states - Kansas, Minnesota and New York - the reverse holds true.

Note: This chart does not address state overtime requirements beyond the basic formulas for computing overtime, such as alternative work periods (besides the usual 40 hours per week), compensatory time off, forms of compensation that must be included in the regular rate, and other state-specific variations. These subjects are addressed in the State Requirements section of the Employment Law Manual.