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Frequently Asked Questions

Can salaried employees receive overtime?

Many workers believe that salaried employees cannot receive overtime. However, this is a common misconception throughout the working world. The fact that an employee is paid on a salary basis has no bearing on whether they are entitled to overtime pay. Eligibility for overtime pay depends on whether the worker falls into the “exempt” or “nonexempt” category.

How do I know if I am an exempt or nonexempt employee?

Employees whose jobs fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act are either “exempt” or “nonexempt.” Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay. Exempt employees are not. Employees who are generally ineligible for overtime pay fall under the professional, administrative, executive or outside sales exemptions.

For most employees, whether they are exempt or nonexempt depends on how much they are paid, how they are paid and what kind of work they do.

Some employers may misclassify employees into an “exempt” category to avoid paying overtime. It’s important that you fill out our free case evaluation form to ensure your employer is not misclassifying you.

How do I calculate my overtime pay rate?

To calculate your overtime pay rate, simply multiply your regular hourly wage by 1.5. This amount totals the rate you should receive for every hour worked over 40 in a single workweek. When calculating overtime pay, employees should also include bonuses and commissions.

What is the current minimum wage?

Currently, the federal minimum wage rests at $7.25 per hour. However, many states, and even cities, have enacted their own minimum wage laws. Some cities' and states' minimum wage floors are considerably higher than the federal one. In these cases, employees should receive the higher minimum wage. If you are making less than the minimum wage, your employer may be in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Are there any exceptions to the minimum wage law?

Yes. Employees under the age of 20 may be paid $4.25 per hour during their initial 90 consecutive days of employment. After this time period, they must be paid at least $7.25 per hour.

How does minimum wage apply to tipped employees?

Federal law outlines the following: Tipped employees must be paid at least $2.13 per hour as long as they make at least $30 per month in tips; they retain all tips; and their direct wage and tips equal at least $7.25. State laws vary.

Sometimes my employer makes me stay after clocking out to “finish the work I should have done during my shift.” Is this legal?

Forcing employees to work off-the-clock is a common overtime scam. Requiring employees to perform job duties, unpaid, before clocking in or after clocking out is illegal. Employees must be paid for any time spent doing work that benefits the employer.

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 employers try to average or combine workweeks to avoid paying overtime. However, combining workweeks is prohibited under federal overtime law. If you are a non-exempt employee, you should be paid time-and-a-half for the 10 hours you worked over 40 in the first week.

I’m afraid that if I file an overtime lawsuit my employer will fire me. Do I have any protection against retaliation?

Yes. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits employers from firing or otherwise retaliating against an employee who files an overtime lawsuit or otherwise exercises their rights under the FLSA. Examples of employer retaliation include demotion, refusal to offer a scheduled raise, assigning the worker to less desired shifts, etc.

If you were fired or retaliated against in other ways, contact us to discuss your options.

I have an assistant manager title, but I seem to have the same duties as a cashier or floor person. Am I being denied an honest paycheck?

This is common in some industries: An employee at a retail store has an assistant manager title, and considered exempt from overtime, but in reality his or her duties are virtually the same as those of non-exempt, non-managers.

This is because some employers misclassify their workers into exempt categories to avoid paying overtime. However, job duties, not job titles, determine overtime eligibility. If your job duties do not fall into an overtime exemption, you should be eligible for overtime pay.