The majority of American full-time employees work for 40 hours a week. While most of them are paid for the overtime hours, the rest are not. Workers may or may not receive overtime compensation depending upon the type of employment, the size of the company, and the place of residence.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a U.S. labor law that establishes the standard rules and regulations for overtime pay and salaried employee hours. The federal law defines overtime compensation as one and a half times the regular salary. However, state laws may have a set of policies that extend beyond the federal rules. Employers hold the right to ask their workers to carry out job overtime. Also, employees can be fired if they deny working overtime. In some cases, salaried workers may not be eligible for overtime pay. The FLSA provides criteria by which salaried workers need to be paid for overtime work, or not.
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Fair Labor Standards Act
The FLSA places no restrictions on the number of hours an employee needs to work per day, but some state regulations may have a fixed figure for the same.
The federal act takes into account the employee’s workweek. It considers a week to be a time duration of seven successive 24-hour days or a total of 168 hours. Non-exempt salaried workers and hourly workers are required to be paid for overtime work, i.e. when they work for over 40 hours per week.
In case you get paid every two weeks and qualify the criteria of overtime work hours, you cannot be asked to work for 60 hours the first week and then 20 hours the next, until you have received compensation for the particular week in which you worked over 40 hours.
Overtime Rules for Salaried Employees
As per the FLPA, the salaried employees who fulfill a definite administrative criterion are generally exempted from overtime work regulations. One of these latest conditions is that the employees need to be paid over $23,660 per year or $455 a week. The Labor Department suggests that there should be an increase in the exempt salary for employees having an annual income of $35,308, or earning over $679 per week.
What are the maximum hours a salaried employee? There is no limit on the number of hours employees 16 years or older may work in any workweek in the US.
Can a salaried employee be forced to work overtime? No, employers and employers are free to enter into an employment agreement of their choosing. So there is no force for both parties.
In this video below you can see How Many Hours Should A Salaried Employee Work?
Employees who meet the minimum exempt salary criteria may also be given the overtime salary, depending upon their job responsibilities.
Exempt Salaried Employees
The job can be regarded as exempt only when it meets all the requisite criteria. Generally, there are three main categories of employees who, if get a qualifying pay, are exempted from the overtime regulations. All these employees need to be paid a minimum of $455 per week.
- Executive Employees
These employees are either engaged in the management of a subdivision/department of an organization or supervise two other full-time employees. Executive workers play a role in the recruitment and dismissal of other workers.
- Administrative Employees
The administrative workers are involved in office tasks related to the organization’s business management and operations.
- Professional Workers
A professional workforce usually handles intellectual jobs based on advanced education and knowledge. They have gained expertise in the sphere of science or research after many years of studies and training.
Thus, if a salaried employee is considered an executive, yet is tasked with the supervision of just one worker, then he/she is eligible for the overtime pay.
Exceptions to The FLSA
The FLSA doesn’t apply to every full-time worker. Some of the private organizations fulfill the complete criteria but may be exempted from overtime job rules. These companies share the following features:
- They do not market or sell beyond State boundaries.
- They do not work on or manage the goods that are sold beyond the State boundaries.
- They have an annual business income of lower than $500,000.
However, there are some types of organizations that must always adhere to the FLSA rules. These are hospitals, residential medical centers or nursing homes, preschools and schools, and governmental agencies.
The FLSA regulations also cover the domestic helpers, i.e. housekeepers, cooks, and full-time babysitters. Currently, the FLSA protects over 143 million Americans.
State Exceptions to The FLSA
Some of the States make it mandatory that employees be given overtime pay for working over 8 hours in one day. This applies to California, Nevada, Alaska.
In California, an overtime employee receives a double-time payment if he/she is working for 12 hours or above in one day. Also, if an employee works for all seven days of the week, even if for 40 hours or less, he/she becomes eligible for overtime pay. Overall, people working their first 8 hours on the 7th day of the week receive time-and-a-half and double-time if they work for over 8 hours.
Whereas in Colorado, employees may not receive the double-time salary if they work for 8+ hours a day, yet do not work for 40+ hours per week. Here, they get time-and-a-half salary after putting in 12 hours of work per day.
Further, Oregon has specific rules for workers of the manufacturing sector. These workers receive overtime salary if they work at least 10 hours a day.
State rules that are less rigid than FLSA do not cover a majority of the public and private workers.
Labor Laws for Underaged
Laws related to Child Labor forbid employing people under the age of 18 in a particular set of jobs. For the permitted jobs, these regulations state a restriction regarding the number of work hours and timings for workers below the age of 16.