Overtime Law

The US Department of Labor says that employees are classified as exempt from overtime (cannot get OT) or non-exempt (are eligible for OT). Exempt employees are classified as such because they earn over a certain amount AND have decision-making authority for the organization. Non-exempt employees “must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.”

What if a person uses sick and/or vacation time that pushes the total weekly hours to over 40, does OT come into play? For instance:

  • A custodian is sick Monday and Tuesday for a total of 16 hours
  • To catch up, the custodian works Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 10 hours each day for a total of 30 hours
  • The employee has a total of 46 hours to be paid: 16 sick + 30 on the clock
  • Does the organization pay the custodian for
    • 40 hours at regular time plus 6 at overtime? Or
    • 46 hours at regular (because he didn’t “work” 16 hours)?

The Fair Labor Standards Act says the custodian would be paid 46 regular hours because he’s only owed overtime for hours worked. Some companies will even allow an employee to get 40 hours pay and keep the remaining 6 hours in a Paid Time Office (PTO) bank. That may or may not appeal to the employee or employer. Some people value time off more than an extra big paycheck one week.

I asked this question of Suzanne Lucas who runs www.evilHRlady.org which is a very helpful and informative website. Suzanne was extremely prompt with an answer. When you have personnel or human resource (HR) questions, do some research on this website and even ask Suzanne for help. She’s good!
Lead On!