I often work 50 hours one week, then 30 hours the next. Yet, in my paycheck, I never see any time-and-a-half pay. Is this legal?

Many people wonder if their paycheck is accurate, especially if they regularly work overtime. The rules concerning overtime are confusing, in particular, for employees who aren’t sure whether they’re exempt or non-exempt.

In most cases, non-exempt employees should receive overtime pay anytime they work over 40 hours in seven days. Anyone considered exempt is not entitled to overtime. 

However, questions sometimes arise concerning exempt and non-exempt status. In addition, people working in nursing homes or as firefighters or law enforcement agents follow different rules for overtime pay.

If you believe your paychecks are incorrect, speak with a labor and employment lawyer at Morgan and Morgan. We can determine whether your pay is correct or your employer is not correctly handling your overtime hours. 

Schedule a free consultation with us by filling out our convenient online form.

More answers to commonly asked questions

Employers classify employees into two categories: exempt and non-exempt. Exempt employees are not entitled to receive overtime pay, no matter how many hours they work. Employers must pay all non-exempt employees overtime if they work more than 40 hours in seven days.

Exempt employees receive pay on a salary basis. They must have an annual salary of at least $35,568 per year or $684 per week. Finally, they must fit into certain job classifications, which the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines as an executive, administrative, professional, computer, or outside sales.

Non-exempt employees receive overtime if their work exceeds 40 hours over seven days. The seven-day period does not have to be a calendar week; it can begin and end on any day. For instance, an employer may start the seven days on a Wednesday and end the week the following Tuesday.

A non-exempt employee must receive a minimum of $7.25 per hour unless they work in an industry where most of their compensation comes from tips. Certain states have higher minimum wages, and employers must follow state guidelines if the state minimum wage exceeds the federal guidelines.

No. All overtime should reflect a seven-day calendar period, except in certain conditions. 

There are special rules for employees who work as police officers, fire protection agents, or in nursing homes and hospitals. Police officers and fire protection officials working for a public agency with five or fewer employees are exempt from overtime. 

Police officers and firefighters receive overtime on a work period basis. The work period may extend from seven to 28 calendar days. The standard workload for a firefighter is 212 hours in 28 days, while for police officers, it’s 171 hours. 

Depending on the pay schedule, overtime is calculated as a ratio of 212 or 171 periods. For instance, a firefighter who works more than 106 hours in 14 days should receive overtime. Similarly, a police officer who exceeds 86 hours over 14 days is due overtime pay.

Non-exempt workers employed by nursing care facilities or hospitals may use the “8 and 80” system if the employee agrees. Under the “8 and 80” rules, overtime is due whenever the employee works more than eight hours in a day and more than 80 hours in two weeks.

Most employers in the U.S. must comply with the FLSA. Covered employers are those that:

  • Earn more than $500K in revenue per year
  • Are engaged in caring for the sick or are primary or secondary schools
  • Are classified as public agencies

Employers do not have to meet the $500K test if they use interstate commerce in their business, which includes shipping goods or providing services across state lines.

Domestic workers must receive minimum wage if they earn more than $2,400 from a single employer in one year or work more than eight hours per week for a person or entity.

If you believe you are due overtime for your work, speak with a labor and employment lawyer. An attorney can review your pay stubs and work duties to determine whether you qualify for overtime. If you meet the requirements to receive overtime, your lawyer will advise you of the appropriate steps to obtain your back pay.

In most cases, you are due overtime if you are a non-exempt employee who worked more than 40 hours in a calendar week. Your employer cannot average your time over 80 hours. However, certain exemptions apply. You may not be entitled to overtime pay if you work as a police officer, firefighter, or for a hospital or nursing home. 

Schedule an appointment with a labor and employment lawyer at Morgan & Morgan to clarify the issue and determine whether you are due overtime pay.

Morgan and Morgan is the largest personal injury attorney firm in the U.S. We can help you resolve your overtime questions and figure out if your employer is underpaying you. 

Contact us to schedule your free case review with one of our skilled labor and employment lawyers.