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General FLSA overtime compensable rule: An employer who allows an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay the employee premium pay for such overtime work unless there is an applicable exemption.
What is the general compensable rate for overtime pay?
Employees covered by the FLSA must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay.
Are there limits on the number of hours or days of the week that an employee can work?
No. There is no limit in the FLSA on the number of hours employees may work in any seven day workweek. In addition, the Act does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, as such – only for those hours over 40 each week.
What is a single workweek in the FLSA?
Basically, a single workweek is seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It need not coincide with the calendar week, but may begin on any day and at any hour of the day. Averaging of hours over two or more weeks is not permitted. Normally, overtime pay earned in a particular workweek must be paid on the regular pay day for the pay period in which the wages were earned.
What are the minimum wage requirements of FLSA?
The regular rate of pay cannot be less than the minimum wage.
What is the importance of the “average hourly rate” for calculating overtime pay?
Earnings may be determined on a piece-rate, salary, commission, or some other basis, but in all such cases the overtime pay due must be computed on the basis of the average hourly rate derived from such earnings. The calculation of the rate may be complex and require an analysis of the relevant factors for an employee.
Rest and Meal Periods: Rest periods of short duration, usually 20 minutes or less, are common in industry (and promote the efficiency of the employee) and are customarily paid for as working time. These short periods must be counted as hours worked. Unauthorized extensions of authorized work breaks need not be counted as hours worked when the employer has expressly and unambiguously communicated to the employee that the authorized break may only last for a specific length of time, that any extension of the break is contrary to the employer’s rules, and any extension of the break will be punished. Bona fide meal periods (typically 30 minutes or more) generally need not be compensated as work time. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating regular meals. The employee is not relieved if he/she is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating.
The FLSA requires that employees must receive at least the minimum wage and may not be employed for more than 40 hours in a week without receiving at least one and one-half times their regular rates of pay for the overtime hours. Calculating compensable time therefore requires a determination of the actual number of compensable hours worked.
Which Principles are Applied to the Workday and Workweek to Calculate the Actual Number of Hours Worked?
Employees “Suffered or Permitted” to work: Work not requested but suffered or permitted to be performed is work time that must be paid for by the employer. For example, an employee may voluntarily continue to work at the end of the shift to finish an assigned task or to correct errors. The reason why the employee has continued to work is immaterial. The additional hours are work time and are compensable.
Waiting Time: Whether waiting time is hours worked under the Act depends upon the particular circumstances. Generally, the facts may show that the employee was engaged to wait (which is work time) or the facts may show that the employee was waiting to be engaged (which is not work time). For example, a secretary who reads a book while waiting for dictation or a fireman who plays checkers while waiting for an alarm is working during such periods of inactivity. These employees have been “engaged to wait.”
On-Call Time: An employee who is required to remain on call on the employer’s premises is working while “on call.” An employee who is required to remain on call at home, or who is allowed to leave a message where he/she can be reached, is not working (in most cases) while on call. Additional constraints on the employee’s freedom could require this time to be compensated.
What happens to the calculation of overtime pay when an employee works two or more different types of work?
A Florida labor law lawyer will look at an employee’s work in a single workweek where an employee works at two or more different types of work for which different straight-time rates have been established. In that situation, the regular rate for that week is the weighted average of such rates.
How are non-cash payments calculated for purposes of unpaid overtime pay?
Where non-cash payments are made to employees in the form of goods or facilities, the Florida wage lawyer will look at the reasonable cost to the employer or fair value of such goods or facilities must be included in the regular rate.
Fixed Sum for Varying Amounts of Overtime: A lump sum paid for work performed during overtime hours without regard to the number of overtime hours worked does not qualify as an overtime premium even though the amount of money paid is equal to or greater than the sum owed on a per-hour basis.
FLSA Non-Exempt Employee who Receives a Salary for a Workweek Exceeding 40 Hours: A fixed salary for a regular workweek longer than 40 hours does not discharge FLSA statutory obligations. For example, an employee may be hired to work a 45 hour workweek for a weekly salary of $405. In this instance the regular rate is obtained by dividing the $405 straight-time salary by 45 hours, resulting in a regular rate of $9.00. The employee is then due additional overtime computed by multiplying the 5 overtime hours by one-half the regular rate of pay ($4.50 x 5 = $22.50).
Overtime Pay May Not Be Waived and will Remain FLSA Overtime Wage Violations: The overtime requirement may not be waived by agreement between the employer and employees.
Which industries have the highest numbers of FLSA violations?
In 2014, according to the Department of Labor, the following industries had the highest violations (please click links for more information):
retail workers (particularly around the holiday season),
call centers and
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