What Is Overtime?

What Is Overtime

While most people may think that they understand what overtime is, understanding how the law defines it and what is required is important so that you can make certain that you are receiving the pay to which you are entitled. At the most basic level, overtime is additional compensation that is paid to certain workers who work more than a set number of hours in a day or week.

Federal wage and hour laws require that employers pay statutory employees who work more than 40 hours in a week overtime pay for each additional hour. New Jersey and Pennsylvania each have their own overtime laws, which closely mirror the requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. If you believe that you have not been paid overtime for hours that you have worked, and you are an eligible employee, you might want to consult with the attorneys at Swartz Swidler.

What are employers required to pay?

Under the law, workers who are eligible for overtime must be paid 1 1/2 times their normal hourly rates for each hour that they work over 40 hours in a week. For instance, an employee who normally makes $10 per hour who works more than 40 hours in a week must
be paid $15 per hour for each hour that he or she worked over 40 hours for that work week.

Does the law require all employers to pay overtime?

Not all employers are covered under the federal FLSA’s overtime requirements. While a majority are required to pay overtime, the requirement doesn’t always apply to all of the employees who work for a particular employer. Employers are not required to pay overtime if they are not covered under the FLSA. Businesses that have less than $500,000 and that do not do business outside if their home states are not federally required to pay overtime.

Daily overtime

New Jersey and Pennsylvania both mirror the federal FLSA. Both the state and federal requirements view overtime on a weekly basis, and overtime pay for working more than a set number of hours in a day is not required as long as the total worked during the week is 40 hours or less.

Nonexempt vs. exempt employees

Not all employees are eligible for overtime pay. Some workers are exempt employees and are ineligible for overtime compensation. These employees include the following:

  • Independent contractors
  • Domestic workers who work and live in the same home
  • Executives and professionals who are paid by salary and who use independent judgment in their jobs
  • Outside salespeople
  • Seamen who work on foreign vessels
  • Criminal investigators
  • Salespeople who work by commission
  • Farmworkers on small farms
  • People who work at certain recreational and season businesses
  • Domestic babysitters

There are some exceptions to certain of these categories, so people will want to talk to the lawyers at Swartz Swidler if they believe that they may still be eligible.

What you can do if your employer has violated the state or federal overtime laws

If you believe that you are an eligible employee and your employer is violating the overtime laws, you should talk to a lawyer at Swartz Swidler about your rights. Your attorney may assist you with filing a complaint with the Department of Labor or with filing a lawsuit. If you are successful, you will likely receive damages and back pay. Contact Swartz Swidler to schedule your consultation today.