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What are the salary rules regarding overtime?

When most Texas residents begin a new job, they understand that overtime could be required, either regularly or periodically. For employees who qualify, overtime begins for any hours worked over 40 hours during a typical workweek. The salary rules under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act require employers to pay overtime for these "extra" hours.

The Act requires that the rate for such overtime pay is to be at least one-and-a-half times a particular employee's regular rate of pay, which must not be less than minimum wage. An employee's regular 40 hours of work must be within a week consisting of seven consecutive days. The scheduled workweek does not have to be Monday through Friday in order to qualify.

For example, someone who works 40 hours by working eight hours each day from Tuesday through Saturday is eligible for overtime upon working more than 40 hours. In the alternative, if an employee works four days a week for 10 hours each workday from Tuesday to Friday, he or she still qualifies for overtime if more than 40 hours are worked. Overtime pay is to be included in the next regular payday, along with regular pay.

An employer cannot pay a flat rate for a number of hours if it includes hours that exceed 40. For example, an employee cannot be expected to work 45 hours per week at regular pay. The additional five hours must be paid at the overtime rate. An employer cannot ask an employee to waive his or her right to overtime pay.

If a Texas employee discovers that he or she is qualified for overtime pay and is not receiving it, the employer is in violation of the FLSA salary provisions regarding overtime pay. If requesting payment for overtime worked does not yield the desired results, it may be necessary to go outside the company. An employment attorney could prove invaluable in helping someone in this situation pursue recovery of the overtime pay to which they are entitled.

Source: dol.gov, "Fact Sheet #23: Overtime Pay Requirements of the FLSA", Accessed on May 7, 2017

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