The FLSA generally does not afford overtime protections for work performed in consecutive workweeks. For example, in a Monday-Sunday work week, an employer must pay overtime for all work that exceeds 40 hours during that calendar period. However, even if the employee worked every day in that particular workweek, overtime premiums stop on a Monday that follows the workweek. This concept is sometimes confusing when employers adopt pay periods longer than one week in duration, and are especially confusing to employees when paydays occur on the 15th and last day of the month.
What is the overtime premium?
The overtime premium is one and one-half (1.5) times the employee’s regular rate of pay. An employee earning $10 per hour is entitled to an overtime premium of $15 per hour.
What is the difference between exempt and non-exempt employees?
Certain employment categories are exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA and are therefore not afforded overtime protections. Two of the most common exemptions are the executive and managerial exemptions. Employees that fall within these exemptions may be paid on a salary basis and are permitted to work in excess of 40 hours in a workweek without the benefit of receiving an overtime premium. Other exemptions include outside sales employees and professionals. An employer cannot simply give an employee a job title and treat the employee as exempt. Many employees prevail in their FLSA, claims by asserting that their employer misclassified them as exempt.
The FLSA requires that an employer pay at least $7.25 an hour for all hours worked in a workweek. Deductions made from wages for such items as cash or merchandise shortages, employer-required uniforms, and tools of the trade, are not legal to the extent that they reduce the wages of employees below the minimum rate required by the FLSA or reduce the amount of overtime pay due under the FLSA.
However, beware, the FLSA contains some exemptions from these basic standards. Some apply to specific types of businesses; others apply to specific kinds of work.