Does overtime start with an 8-hour shift or 40-hour workweek?

by | Apr 27, 2021 | Employment Law |

Overtime (OT) concerns both sides of the employment equation. Employment budgets don’t always allow for additional pay. Meanwhile, expectations and extra earning potential typically concern workers.

Businesses have different demands that determine staffing needs. Meanwhile, employees might wonder at what point labor laws dictate OT pay.

OT regulations

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies overtime pay requirements for non-exempt employees ages 16 and above who work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays don’t necessarily factor into OT, however, since regularly scheduled shifts comprising the workweek can vary.

California employment laws are more specific. Any one of the following factors can determine eligibility for time and a half:

  • A workweek with more than 40 hours on the clock
  • Daily shifts longer than eight hours
  • More than six consecutive days in a workweek

Working more than 12 hours in a workday makes employees eligible for double their regular pay rate. Keep in mind, though, that OT cannot be stacked.

What is a regular rate of pay?

Workers typically know how much compensation they should receive for the work they perform. Yet, it’s important to understand when OT pay becomes a legal requirement.

An employment law attorney can help you understand applicable exemptions and potential discrepancies, based on one’s regular rate of pay. This can vary based on whether the agreed-upon payment is:

  • Hourly
  • By piece
  • An annual salary

A weighted average of different rates during the workweek may also factor into calculations.

To a certain extent, business success relies on remaining in compliance with state and federal employment laws. A misunderstanding of legal requirements is no defense for potential wage and hour disputes.


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