If an employer requires or allows an employee to work in excess of 40 hours a week, overtime compensation is generally required by law. Calculating overtime pay is usually achieved by multiplying time-and-a-half of an employee’s hourly wages, whether the employee is salaried or currently works for an hourly rate. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains some exceptions to the above; employees are encouraged to study the matter more closely on the Department of Labor website.
For employees currently working for an hourly rate, overtime calculation is relatively simple: just multiply the hourly rate by 1.5.
For instance, an employee making $14.50 an hour working in excess of 40 hours a week would simply use this formula:[14.50*1.5 = $21.75]. All overtime work should be paid at a rate of $21.75 an hour.
Calculating overtime for salaried employees is a slightly more complicated formula to follow. As an illustration, assume that a qualifying employee makes $32,000 a year:
• First, divide the yearly salary by 52 to determine the weekly salary. [32,000/52 = approximately $615.38]
• Divide the weekly salary by 40 to determine the hourly salary, rounding the third decimal place up (for amounts.005 and over) or down (for amounts.004 or less). [615.38/40 = $15.38]
• Take the hourly wage and divide it by two. [15.38/2 = $7.69]
• Add the above quotient to the hourly rate. [15.38+7.69 = $23.07]
In the case above, any hours in excess of 40 per week should be paid at a rate of $23.07 an hour. However, barring a few exceptions, any bonuses and commission paid to the employee should be used to calculate his or her rate of usual pay. In other words, a bonus counts as part of your salary when you calculate your overtime pay rate.
There are certain cases in which an employee may not realize he or she qualifies for overtime. According to the FLSA, the following are considered to be hours worked by an individual:
• Telecommuting or working at home
• Employee training sessions
• Time spent in dispute resolution meetings, waiting for work, or receiving medical treatment at the worksite
• On-call hours, in some cases
• 5-to-20-minute breaks
If you feel that you have been denied overtime, you may want to contact an overtime attorney to look at your case. IQ Overtime has more information on how to calculate your overtime.