In the United States, a full-time workweek is 40 hours and anything over that is considered “overtime.” Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), unless an employee is exempt under the Act, whenever a covered employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek, their employer is required by law to pay the employee not less than 1 1/2 times their regular pay.
For example, if “John” normally gets paid $15.00 an hour, when he works more than 40 hours in a given workweek, his employer must pay him $15.00 plus $7.50 for each hour over 40 hours, which comes to $22.50 per hour for overtime.
But what about weekends? Can people expect to receive overtime if they’re asked to work on the weekend? The Act does not require employers to pay overtime to employees who work on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays unless the overtime happens to fall on those days.
What Counts as a Workweek?
People often ask, “What counts as a workweek? Is it Monday through Friday specifically or is it Sunday through Saturday?” According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “An employee's workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours — seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It need not coincide with the calendar week, but may begin on any day and at any hour of the day.
“Different workweeks may be established for different employees or groups of employees. Averaging of hours over two or more weeks is not permitted. Normally, overtime pay earned in a particular workweek must be paid on the regular pay day for the pay period in which the wages were earned.”
Under New Jersey law, employers have to pay employees not less than 1 1/2 times the employee’s regular rate for each hour the employee works more than 40 hours in any week. However, the state overtime law does not apply to:
- Individuals in executive, administrative, or professional capacities
- Farm or hotel employees
- Bus drivers
- Limousine drivers
- People who raise livestock
Has your employer required you to work in excess of 40 hours in a workweek but failed to pay you overtime? If so, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit and seek the overtime pay that you earned. To learn more, contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law.