HR Support on Complying with Overtime Laws

Editor's Note: Paying for overtime - not as easy as it sounds.

Michael CardmanOverview: Overtime laws are simple, right? When employees work more than 40 hours in a week, you pay them one and a half times their regular rate of pay, right? An employee who earns $10 an hour must be paid $15 an hour for every hour after 40, right?

While that general rule holds true in most cases, there are many variations that can complicate matters quickly. For example, what if an employee receives a bonus or a commission? In some cases, those payments must be factored in to the regular rate of pay. Or, what if an employee performs different jobs at different rates of pay for the same employer?

Also, not all employees need to be paid overtime on the basis of a 40-hour workweek. Certain unionized employees, medical care providers, police and firefighters can be paid according to alternative work periods as long as 28 days.

In addition, overtime laws vary among the states so it's critical that an employer follow state law when calculating employee overtime.

Trends: Employees continue to file, and win, lawsuits seeking unpaid overtime at a rapid pace. At the same time, the federal government and state labor agencies are enforcing overtime laws more aggressively than ever. There appears to be no end in sight to this trend, and employers should remain vigilant in complying with overtime laws.

Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor

Latest items in Overtime

  • Multistate Employer: Federal

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    This section helps HR professionals manage challenges that come with operating in multiple states, notably complying with differing state and key municipal laws, and addresses the pros and cons of having a centralized or decentralized HR department. Trends currently affecting multistate employers are identified, such as same-sex marriage laws and tracking various state leave laws, are discussed.

  • Salary Basis Policy

    Type:
    Policies and Documents

    An employer may use this policy to ensure they will meet the requirements of the "safe harbor" provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the "safe harbor" provision, employers that inadvertently make improper deductions from the pay of exempt employees can shield themselves from overtime liability if they adopt a salary basis policy and take other steps.

  • Salary Basis Test

    Type:
    Employment Glossary

    Employment glossary definition of Salary Basis Test.

  • Overtime Handbook Statement: California

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    California employers that must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and seek to address the circumstances under which employees classified by the employer as nonexempt will receive the overtime premium should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Overtime Handbook Statement: Colorado

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Colorado employers in the retail and service, commercial support service, food and beverage or health and medical industries seeking to educate employees, including supervisors, about when employees may be entitled to premium pay for overtime in accordance with the Colorado Minimum Wage Order 30 should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Overtime Handbook Statement: Nevada

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Nevada employers seeking to educate employees, including supervisors, about entitlements to overtime pay under Nevada law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Holiday Work - Retail Employees Handbook Statement [1-7 Employees]: Massachusetts

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Massachusetts retail employers that have fewer than eight employees and seek to inform employees, including supervisors, about employees' right to refuse to work on certain holidays and the entitlement to premium pay for holiday work should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Holiday Work - Retail Employees Handbook Statement [8+ Employees]: Massachusetts

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Massachusetts retail employers that have more than seven employees and seek to inform employees, including supervisors, about employees' right to refuse to work on certain holidays and the entitlement to premium pay for holiday work should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Overtime Handbook Statement: Kentucky

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Kentucky employers seeking to inform employees, including supervisors, about Kentucky requirements regarding overtime pay on the seventh day of work in a workweek should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Overtime Handbook Statement: Alaska

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Alaska employers with four or more employees that have nonexempt employees who work an excess of 40 hours in a week or more than eight hours in a workday should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.