by Kelly Mulloy Myers, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist
The Fair Labor Standards Act generally requires that employees covered by the act who are “non-exempt” must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate of pay not less than one and one-half time their regular rate of pay. A workweek is a period of 168 hours during 7 consecutive 24-hour periods. The workweek may begin on any day of the week. The regular rate of pay cannot be less than the minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour. There is no limit on the number of hours per week employees aged 16 and older may be required to work in a workweek. For example, your employer can require you to work 90 hours in a week as long as they pay you overtime on 50 hours.
An employer is not required to pay overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sunday, or holidays unless that time exceeds 40 hours in the workweek. The overtime requirement may not be waived by agreement between the employer and employee.
Employees defined as “exempt” by the FLSA are not entitled to overtime pay. Exempt employees include executive, administrative, and professional employees and outside sales employees. If you have not received overtime or believe you have been improperly classified as an exempt employee, you should not delay in seeking advice because there are strict time limits in which charges of unpaid wages must be filed.