The United States Department of Labor has established regulations called FairPay that govern much of Federal overtime policy. Promising "overtime security for the 21st century workforce," workers may think that they have an ace in the whole against employers who abuse their time. Because overtime labor laws do not apply to all workers, they are often the focus of employment law questions.
Under FairPay, all workers must get paid at least the minimum wage ($7.25 per hour, effective July 24, 2009) for all hours worked. Overtime work, considered anything above 40 hours in any given work week must be compensated at one and a half times the hourly wage of a worker if that worker is not exempt.
FairPay does not require employers to pay employees more than their regular wage for weekend or holiday work unless working on those days pushes them above the forty hour work week. In such a case, workers must be paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked in excess of forty for that week. If an employee normally requires bonus pay, it counts toward the hourly pay of an employee, meaning that in some cases overtime pay will actually be more than a straight 1-1/2 times a stated hourly wage.
When Federal overtime labor laws apply, they are not permitted to be waived based on an agreement between an employee and an employer.
Overtime protection applies to workers earning less than $23,660 annually or less than $455 per week, although it is possible for a non-exempt employee to make over that amount and still fall under protected status for overtime pay.
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