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What should be my overtime rate of pay?


Overtime pay can be confusing. Employees’ entitlement to overtime pay often results in litigation and legal claims because employers are doing one of many things wrong, such as not paying employees at the correct overtime rate, not paying employees for all overtime work performed, or even not paying employees overtime at all. In this blog, we will discuss things that may impact your overtime rate of pay.

Overtime pay is required to be at one and one half times your regular rate of pay.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that requires that employers pay non-exempt employees at one and one half times their regular rate of pay. An employee’s regular rate of pay is not necessarily simply the employee’s hourly rate of pay. For instance, if an employee earns $12 per hour as their hourly rate of pay, but they also earn a $1.00 per hour shift differential, their overtime rate should not be $18 per hour. Instead, the regular rate of pay is actually $13 per hour and overtime should be paid at $19.50 per hour. Shift differentials or shift premiums are merely one type of additional compensation or pay that is to be included in the calculation of employees’ regular rate of pay for overtime.

What if your employer is paying you one and one half times your hourly rate of pay?

If your employer is paying you overtime at one and one half times your hourly rate of pay, then it may be violating state and federal law. Whether you are entitled to be paid more than 1.5 times your hourly rate of pay depends on the type of compensation that you receive. For instance, if your pay is only comprised of your hourly pay, say $12 per hour, then your employer can pay you $18 per hour and will likely be in compliance with the federal and state overtime laws. However, if your receive additional forms of payment such as shift differentials or shift premiums for working particular shifts, non-discretionary bonuses (such as attendance bonuses or production bonuses or retention bonuses), these types of additional pay or remuneration increase your regular rate of pay for the purposes of computing overtime.

Does a shift differential or shift premium raise your regular rate of pay for overtime?

Yes, a shift differential or shift premium would effectively increase your regular rate of pay for the purposes of computing overtime. If you earned a $1 shift differential for all hours worked along with $14 per hour, then your overtime rate would be $22.50 per overtime hour worked ($14 + $1 = $15 x 1.5 = $22.50) and not $21 per hour ($14 x 1.5 = $21.00). If your employer is not including a shift differential when computing your overtime rate, then you are not being fully paid the overtime wages you have worked hard to earn. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about how your overtime is being paid or your overtime rate is being calculated.

Questions about your overtime pay or the overtime rate you receive?

Our job is to understand overtime laws inside and out. We pride ourselves on staying up to date on any and all changes to the overtime laws so that we can provide the best possible representation to our clients and maximize the amount that we recover on their behalf. You have worked hard for your overtime pay. We fight to get you the overtime pay and wages that you have earned. The law provides that employees who have not been paid overtime properly may receive their unpaid overtime, liquidated damages, and attorney’s fees and costs. Let our experienced overtime attorneys assist you. For a FREE consultation, call us at 614-949-1181.


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