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Overtime Pay Rules and Laws

Overtime pay is the money paid to employees for working beyond the normal working hours. There are several ways to determine what the normal working hours are; social considerations (what is considered reasonable by social standards), the trade or profession in question, laws, and by agreements made between an employer and its employee.

Overtime pay tends to encourage employees to work the longer hours as opposed to if the employees were making normal hourly wages. Overtime laws vary from country to country and state to state. To learn more about overtime pay, you should take a look at the commonly asked questions below that have been answered by Experts.

I work for a transporting company that is based out of Canada. Is there a law concerning overtime pay?

Here is the law from the Department of U.S. Labor -

Unless specifically exempted, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. There is no limit in the Act on the number of hour's employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek. The Act does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, as such.

The act covers "by the week". What this means is, the workweek doesn't have to go according to a calendar week. The work week can start on any day of the week and at any time of the day. Workweeks are generally determined by the company and for the purpose of the company needs. As a general rule, any overtime pay that is earned must be paid for the workweek in which it was worked. To learn more about this topic you can go to the Department of Labor website:

What is the law regarding an employer taking back any raises an employee has received in the last 5 years, and took away any overtime pay over 45 hours? The company is a local delivery company based out of Missouri.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act Motor Carrier's Exemption, if you are a delivery driver and ship goods in interstate commerce, you are not entitled to overtime. This also includes moving goods from a warehouse in the same state as the outlet in which the goods go. The same rule applies to long haul or local truck drivers. Unless your employer has a contract that stated otherwise, he/she can decide what raises and benefits can be distributed to his/her employees. If you don't think your situation applies to the Motor carriers Exemption, you should contact the Department of Labor and file a complaint. The labor Department will review your claim and determine whether or not you are covered by the exemption.

Can employers take your lunch breaks out of your overtime pay?

Generally, when a person's wages are being calculated, the goal is to determine the actual hours in which the employee actually worked. This rule would apply to a company who doesn't pay for lunch breaks.

For example, if a person worked 50 hours during a workweek but took a 30 minute lunch break each day for five days, the person would actually only work 47.5 hours. If the employer doesn't pay for the lunch breaks, then you would be paid for 7.5 hours of overtime. Overtime isn't based off of an eight hour day but by a 40 hour week. Therefore, if you worked an hour over your normal eight hour day, you wouldn't be paid for hour overtime unless it exceeds the 40 hour week.

Is it legal for a company to deduct overtime pay from my monthly commissions?

The employer cannot deduct overtime from your commission, however the employer doesn't have to add it when counting the overtime. For example, if your salary pay is $10 per hour and you work 40 hours for the week plus earn $400 in commissions for the same week, your overtime will be based on your hourly wage, not your commissions. Basically, your employer cannot take your overtime from your commission. You may want to speak with a labor attorney about recovering the unpaid overtime pay.

Many people enjoy working extra hours for the overtime pay. There are situations that may arise that require professional insight and answers. If you have a question or concern about overtime pay, you should ask an Expert for legal insight.
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