Who’s Entitled to Overtime Pay?
Americans are not afraid to work hard. In fact, most Americans actively seek to work overtime to help keep up with increasing expenses. According to a survey by Qualtrics, 57% of respondents indicated they actively seek overtime shifts to keep up with rising inflation.
At Atkinson & Frampton, PLLC, we understand how hard Americans work to keep up with the times. That is why we work hard to represent the people of Charleston, West Virginia, inside and outside the courtroom. Employees throughout West Virginia, including Morgantown, Huntington, Beckley, Martinsburg, and Parkersburg communities, have come to trust us with their case whenever they need a professional attorney to fight in their corner.
Who Is Entitled to Overtime Pay?
In general, most employees who work more than 40 hours per week are entitled to overtime pay. However, some exemptions exist for certain salaried employees who perform executive, administrative, or professional duties.
According to Federal Law, the following guidelines apply:
Non-exempt employees. Employees classified as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in the United States are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Non-exempt employees are typically hourly workers who are not in a management or professional position.
Exempt employees. Certain salaried employees who perform executive, administrative, or professional duties may be exempt from receiving overtime pay under the FLSA. However, these exemptions are subject to specific criteria, such as a minimum salary threshold, and the duties performed by the employee must meet specific requirements.
Collective bargaining agreements. Some employees may be covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that sets specific terms for overtime pay. The CBA may provide more generous overtime provisions than required by law.
West Virginia Law
In West Virginia, the state’s overtime pay requirements are generally similar to the FLSA requirements. Most employees are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular pay rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
However, there are some differences between West Virginia law and the FLSA. For example, West Virginia has a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum. Also, West Virginia’s overtime pay requirements apply to any hours worked over six days in a workweek, not just seven consecutive days like the FLSA.
West Virginia has criteria for determining who is exempt from overtime pay requirements. Exempt workers include executive, administrative, and professional employees making at least $47,476 annually as of July 1, 2021. Additionally, specific employees such as US government, volunteers, agricultural workers, and employers covered by Department of Transportation regulations may be considered exempt.
Also, West Virginia’s Minimum Wage and Maximum Hour Standards does not apply when more than 80% of the employer’s workforce is eligible for the FLSA. If so, then federal jurisdiction can be established instead of local.
Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Overtime Pay
Exempt and non-exempt are terms used to describe employees subject to different overtime pay requirements under the FLSA.
Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. They are typically hourly workers who are not in a management or professional position. Non-exempt employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage and are eligible for overtime pay at one and a half times their regular pay rate for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.
There are some occupations that are exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA. Some occupations that fall under this category include teachers, outside sales employees, some employees in computer-related operations, seasonal employees, recreational employees, farm workers, and babysitters.
In addition, there are also occupations that are only exempt from overtime pay and partial exemptions from overtime pay. Some partially exempt employees from overtime pay may include those working in agriculture, petroleum distributors, hospital and residential care employees, and employees who lack a high school diploma.
It is important to note that just because an employee is salaried or in a management or professional position does not necessarily mean they are exempt from overtime pay requirements. There are also state regulations for exempt and non-exempt employees. Employers must carefully evaluate their employees’ job duties and pay them accordingly to ensure compliance with federal and state labor laws.
Employers may have different overtime policies that regulate how employees are compensated for working additional hours beyond their normal workweek. In particular, the following policies have a significant bearing on employee rights.
Unauthorized overtime. Unauthorized overtime occurs when an employee works additional hours beyond their scheduled shift without prior approval from their employer. Employers may have policies prohibiting unauthorized overtime and may discipline employees who violate these policies. In most cases, employers do not compensate for unauthorized overtime.
Mandatory overtime. Mandatory overtime involves an employer requiring an employee to work additional hours beyond their scheduled shift. Employers may implement mandatory overtime policies during peak business periods or emergencies. Employers must compensate employees for mandatory overtime at 1.5 times their regular pay rate.
Compensatory time instead of overtime. Some employers may offer compensatory or “comp time” as an alternative to paying overtime. Comp time is paid time off that an employee can use in the future in lieu of overtime pay. Employers must follow certain rules regarding comp time, including the requirement to provide comp time at a rate of 1.5 times the employee’s overtime hours worked.
Consider Speaking With a Trusted Attorney
At Atkinson & Frampton, PLLC, we help employees who feel their rights have been violated. We believe in helping employees protect their right to overtime pay, especially when employers try to back out on compensating you for your hard work.
Stand up for your right to fair compensation. Contact our team today. We proudly serve clients in Charleston, Morgantown, Huntington, Beckley, Martinsburg, and Parkersburg, West Virginia.