Understanding overtime pay is important for employees to ensure they receive fair compensation for their extra hours worked.
Federal and state laws mandate overtime pay to compensate employees for working beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. However, there are specific regulations and guidelines that both employers and employees should be aware of to avoid misunderstandings or potential disputes.
Employees classified as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act are eligible for overtime pay. This includes hourly workers and certain salaried employees. Exempt employees, such as executives, professionals and administrative employees, do not automatically receive overtime pay.
For eligible employees, overtime pay is typically set at one and a half times their regular hourly rate. For instance, if an employee’s regular hourly rate is $15 per hour, their overtime rate is $22.50 per hour. This increased rate serves as an incentive for employers to limit excessive overtime and encourages fair compensation for employees working additional hours. Certain industries or professions may have different overtime pay regulations or exemptions based on specific criteria outlined by state or federal law, such as transportation workers or external salespeople.
Withholding overtime pay
Employers must legally pay overtime wages to eligible employees. Withholding overtime pay is unlawful and can result in legal consequences for the employer. If an employer fails to pay overtime wages, employees have the right to file a wage claim with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment or pursue legal action to recover unpaid wages.
Pay issues are a more common issue than many people may think. In FY2023, The U.S. Department of Labor recouped more than $274 million in back wages for over 163,000 workers. Understanding the nuances of overtime can help employees safeguard their rights and address any concerns regarding unpaid wages.