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Does a salary automatically mean no overtime pay?

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2022 | Employment Law |

Federal law limits how long companies can force their workers to stay on the job without paying them extra. Overtime laws promote a better work-life balance for employees. Companies have to pay their workers time-and-a-half or 150% of their typical hourly wage if they put in more than 40 hours in a given workweek.

Obviously, significant overtime pay can affect a company’s operating costs and therefore its profit margin. Many businesses try to avoid paying overtime wages if possible. As a salaried worker, you may think you have to work as long as your employer demands.

However, if your salary is too low, then you still have the right to overtime pay.

How much money makes you exempt from overtime pay?

An employer can get away without paying overtime wages to their salaried employees because they are exempt from the requirement. Federal rules require that a worker needs to make at least a minimum salary so that they can support themselves.

You must make at least $684 per week or $35,568 a year to be exempt from overtime pay requirements. If your salary is lower than that, you should receive at least 150% of your average hourly wages for your hours worked beyond 40. Workers with low salaries can demand overtime wages if they have to work more than 40 hours in a week.

If one employee has too low of a salary to be exempt from overtime wages, many people at the company may be in a similar situation. Wage claims may be more effective when people work together to hold their employer accountable for unscrupulous business practices.

Learning when you have the right to demand your unpaid wages can help you get the compensation you have already earned through your hard work.