What is overtime?
Many employees have questions about overtime. This post is intended to answer the most basic questions, which are what is overtime, who is eligible for overtime, and how to calculate overtime pay.
Federal law, known as the Fair Labor Standards Act, governs overtime in all fifty states, including Texas. Some states have enacted their own laws regarding overtime to supplement the FLSA, though Texas has not. Under the FLSA, most workers must be paid at one and a half times their regular rate of pay for each hour they work over 40 hours in a week. Thus, If your regular pay rate is $10.00 per hour and you worked 60 hours in a week, then you must be paid $10.00 per hour for the first 40 hours in the week, plus $15.00 an hour (that is, time and a half $10.00) for the extra 20 hours you worked that week. Sometimes issues arise as to what constitutes hours worked during a week. As a general matter, hours worked include all the time during which an employee is required or allowed to perform work for an employer, regardless of where the work is done, whether at a job site, at the place of employment, at a designated work place, at home or at some other location. Time spent traveling from one job site to another also generally constitutes hours worked.
As stated above, almost all employees have a right to receive overtime pay (some have estimated that more than eighty percent of all workers in the US are eligible for overtime pay), but there are some exemptions under the FLSA. The major exemptions include professional workers with advanced degrees; executives and highly paid employees with considerable discretion in performing their job duties.
Again, these exemptions are narrow and you should not assume that they apply to you. If you have questions as to what is overtime and whether you are eligible for overtime pay, you should speak with an overtime attorney as soon as possible, as there are strict time limitations that can bar unpaid overtime claims.
About the Author: I represent individuals in a variety of matters, including employment claims for lost wages. While my office is located in Fort Worth, I am admitted to practice in every state and federal court in Texas, and I am able handle unpaid overtime cases in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Denton, Houston, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, and across Texas. If you believe you may be owed unpaid overtime, call me at 817.908.9861 or fill out my contact form for a free evaluation.