How To Calculate FLSA Overtime Pay

September 14, 2022
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

Overtime labor law

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), certain employees who work more than 40 hours per week are entitled to overtime pay. Generally, overtime pay is calculated as one and a half times the employee’s standard hourly wage. But, in some cases, calculating FLSA overtime pay can be surprisingly complicated, and over a period of several weeks or months, it can become difficult to track how much an employee is owed if the employer hasn’t paid.

Time-and-a-Half for Employees Who Receive Hourly Wages

The most common scenario in which the FLSA’s overtime rule applies is when a wage-based employee works more than 40 hours in a week. In addition to paying employees the federal minimum wage (or the state minimum wage, if this is higher than the federal minimum wage), employers must also pay wage-based workers one and a half times their standard hourly wage for each hour worked past a standard 40-hour workweek.

So, for example, let’s say an employee receives $10.00 per hour as her standard hourly wage. If this employee works 50 hours in a week, she would be entitled to $10.00 per hour for the first 40 hours ($400) and $15 for the next 10 hours ($150)—for a total of $550—under the FLSA’s overtime requirements.

Time-and-a-Half for Non-Exempt Salaried Employees

Salaried employees are also entitled to time-and-a-half for overtime under the FLSA in some (but not all) cases. To qualify for overtime, a salaried employee must be “non-exempt.” Executives, professionals, administrative personnel and certain other salaried employees are typically classified as “exempt,” meaning that they do not qualify for overtime. Currently, to be classified as exempt, a salaried employee must earn at least $684 per week.

If a salaried employee is non-exempt, then the employee is entitled to FLSA overtime regardless of his or her weekly salary. For salaried employees, the overtime rate is calculated by dividing the employee’s salary by 40 and then multiplying this number by one and a half. So, for example, if a non-exempt salaried employee receives $600 per week, the employee’s overtime rate would be one and a half times $15, or $22.50.

Time-and-a-Half for “Piecework” Employees

The overtime calculation for “piecework” employees (those who are compensated based on the number of tasks they complete) is a bit different. Under the FLSA, there are two options for calculating overtime for piecework employees:

  • Option 1: Overtime pay is calculated by dividing the employee’s total weekly piecework compensation by the number of hours worked to arrive at an effective hourly rate, dividing this effective hourly rate by half, and then multiplying this number by the number of hours worked over 40.
  • Option 2: If agreed between the employer and employee, overtime pay is calculated as one and a half times the piece rate for each piece produced during overtime hours.

Are You Entitled To Unpaid Overtime Under the FLSA?

If you believe that you are entitled to unpaid overtime under the FLSA, you should discuss your legal rights with an attorney. To schedule a confidential consultation at The Law Office of J.W. Stafford, call 410-514-6099 or send us your contact information online today.