Overtime

HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Overtime

What is Overtime?

Unless an employee is exempt, FLSA requires those covered to receive overtime pay for over 40 hours in a workweek. According to the DOL, the rate should not be less than time-and-a-half of the regular rate of pay.

For a full fact sheet, click here.

Example of how overtime pay works:

Hourly pay rate x 1.5 x overtime hours worked = overtime pay

$25 hourly x 1.5 OT rate x 4 OT hours worked = $150 OT pay

Can employees be forced to work overtime?

Yes. Employers can require employees to work overtime and has the right to fire for refusal, according to the FLSA. FLSA sets no limits on how many hours a day or week employers can require employees to work. 

While employers can require employees to work overtime, there are some exceptions. These include union contracts, other employment contracts, computer professionals, workers responsible for childcare, etc.

Are there alternatives to mandatory overtime?

While most employers rely on current employees to handle the workload through mandatory overtime versus investing in additional employees, there are alternatives that include: 

  • The option for employers to post available shifts and solicit volunteers before mandating overtime. 
  • Use a staffing agency. 
  • Hire part-time employees for the extra workload.
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